A Paradigm for Single-Case Research: The Time Series Study of a Long-Term Psychotherapy for Depression

Enrico E. Jones, Jess Ghannam, Joel Nigg, Jennifer F.P. Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


This study articulates a paradigm for single-case research in psychotherapy. A patient diagnosed as having major depressive disorder was seen in an intensive, twice-weekly psychodynamic psychotherapy for 2 1 2 years. Each session was videotaped, and assessments of patient change were obtained at regular intervals. A time-series analysis was used to model fluctuations in the therapy process to take into account time and the effect of previous events on subsequent changes, thereby preserving the context-determined meaning for therapist and patient actions. A bidirectional analysis of causal effects shows that the influence processes between therapist and patient are mutual and reciprocal and suggests that the effect of the patient on the therapist and on the process has not been made sufficiently explicit in previous models of process and change. The potential of intensive single-case designs for uncovering causal effects in psychotherapy is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-394
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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