What is psychodynamic therapy?

Bringing the unconscious into the conscious

Psychodynamic therapy explores a person’s entire lived experience in the world. This can include their childhood, family relationships, habits, goals and unconscious drives. Put simply, psychodynamic therapy is about making a person more aware of their inner world and hidden impulses. This way, they can better understand what drives them — and what holds them back.

Psychodynamic therapy can help with anything from complex mental health challenges to a general feeling of a lack of fulfilment. A psychodynamic therapist will help you to become more aware of the reasons behind your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, needs, urges and desires. This includes helping you to understand how earlier, repressed emotions and experiences might still be affecting you today.

By examining the unconscious drives behind your issues, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and let go of old patterns that are no longer serving you.

How does psychodynamic therapy work?

Psychodynamic therapy is a talk-based approach that uses techniques such as dream analysis, free association and observations from your therapist to help bring the unconscious into the conscious. The therapeutic relationship itself might be explored too.

Traditional psychodynamic therapy is usually a long-term process. However, Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) is designed to be briefer. Typically, this will last for 16 sessions and will mainly examine difficulties that you might be having in relationships. A longer version of psychodynamic therapy is psychoanalysis, which involves having multiple sessions per week.

What can psychodynamic therapy help with?

Depression or low mood, stress, anxiety, anger, identity issues, relationship issues, self-esteem, wellbeing, somatic symptoms, eating issues.

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