Psychodynamic Therapy is most effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders (particularly phobias and OCD), addiction, depressive disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders and PTSD. Psychodynamic therapy is also appropriate for people who are interested in exploring themselves and those who keep choosing abusive partners, and those who want to break maladaptive behavioural patterns.
What is Psychodynamic Therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy is a talking therapy that brings the unconscious mind into consciousness – helping you to unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It believes that our unconscious mind holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. In order to ensure these memories and experiences do not surface, many people will develop defences, such as denial and projections.
Psychodynamic therapy mainly focuses on immediate problems and attempts to find a quick solution. It does however tend to provide the same benefits – helping people with a range of psychological disorders to make significant changes to how they make decisions and interact with others.
How does it work and is it effective?
- Duration of Psychodynamic therapy is dependent on individual circumstances, but can vary from many months to many years (generally on a weekly basis).
- Free association, therapeutic transference and Interpretation are 3 of the techniques used in Psychodynamic therapy, and which help you to open up and explore unresolved issues and conflict hidden in your unconscious that are affecting your mood and behaviour. The end goal is that you will learn to analyse and resolve your current issues and change your behaviour in current relationships through this deep exploration and analysis of earlier experiences and emotions.
- Free association involves you talking freely to the therapist – saying the first things that come to mind, allowing for true thoughts and feelings to surface without any concern for how painful, illogical or silly they may sound to the therapist.
- Therapeutic transference is the redirection of feelings – especially those unconsciously retained from childhood – onto the therapist; for instance hatred, mistrust, extreme dependence, rage etc. Through recognition and exploration of this relationship, you can begin to understand your feelings and resolve any conflicts with figures from your childhood.
- The therapist will occasionally interrupt with thoughts or interpretations of the topics you choose to discuss – dependent on your mental state and capacity to integrate material that you are unaware of.
- Ultimately, the therapist will help you learn new patterns of behaviour and ways of thinking that promote personal development and growth – helping you to overcome any limitations caused by unconscious feelings.
- There are research studies that have shown the effectiveness of Psychodynamic therapy across a range of mental health conditions. This therapy’s evidence-base is expected to grow substantially over the next decade.