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Special Features


Brief Psychotherapy Research Program
Principal Investigator:   J. Christopher Muran, Ph.D.
Time frame of study:   Ongoing
Time frame of participation:   30 weekly psychotherapy sessions
Location of Study:   Mount Sinai Beth Israel
317 East 17th Street,
Fierman Hall 9th floor
Contact Number:   (212) 420-3819

For further information on our program please visit

Program Summary:
The Brief Psychotherapy Research Program provides low-cost, specialized treatment for various emotional and interpersonal difficulties of a longstanding nature, including problems with anxiety and depression. Our program offers specialized treatment for adults who suffer from various emotional & interpersonal difficulties of a longstanding nature, including problems with anxiety & depression. Designed to shorten the therapy process, brief psychotherapy focuses on very specific problem areas and involves high levels of therapist activity.

If thorough evaluation indicates that short-term treatment is appropriate, a therapist is assigned to the patient. Treatment consists of 30 psychotherapy sessions. If short-term treatment is rendered inappropriate, we assist the patient in finding alternative treatment. Treatment for each patient involves an integration of cognitive/behavioral and interpersonal/relational principles.

After each session, patients are required to fill out a brief questionnaire. In addition, all sessions are videotaped with the patient's consent. This is for research purposes only. Patients have to pay a small fee for each session, ranging from $30 to $50, depending on their income.

Background & Significance:
Much has been written recently in popular press about research demonstrating the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapies for a variety of psychiatric disorders.

What has not been highlighted as much is that there are still 30-40% who fail to benefit from these therapies, and as many as 65% dropout or end treatment prematurely. A good proportion of these treatment failures have to do with the inability of therapists to establish a working alliance with their patients.

What has also not been highlighted is that the research demonstrating the effectiveness of these therapies has tended to exclude patients presenting with multiple or chronic problems. This is especially disconcerting considering that 40-70% of those seeking treatment in our mental health clinics and private practices do meet for more than one psychiatric diagnosis, and as many as 33% present with longstanding problems that have a profound effect on their emotional and interpersonal functioning.

An internationally renowned psychotherapy research program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel was recently awarded a prestigious development grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study a cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with multiple or chronic problems and to evaluate innovative strategies specifically developed to care for this patient population.

These strategies concentrate on training therapists to better manage the challenges posed by these patients and establish working alliances in order to increase treatment completion and improve treatment outcome. This will be a rare study design that turns the lens on therapists in order to improve their abilities to help patients –patients most likely to be encountered in real-life settings.

Criteria for Participation:
Adults who are experiencing longstanding problems of an emotional & interpersonal nature.

Benefits and/or Compensation:
Study participants will receive a low-cost, empirically supported therapy from a well-established, internationally recognized program.