Psychodynamic therapy is a form of talk therapy that explores how unconscious thoughts and past experiences influence a person’s current emotions, behaviors, and relationships. It is based on the principles of psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud and later expanded upon by other theorists.
In psychodynamic therapy, the therapist and patient work together to uncover and understand the underlying psychological processes that may be contributing to the patient’s difficulties. The focus is on bringing awareness to unconscious conflicts, unresolved issues from the past, and patterns of behavior that may be rooted in childhood experiences.
The therapy typically involves regular sessions where the patient talks freely about their thoughts, feelings, dreams, and memories. The therapist actively listens and observes the client’s words, behaviors, and emotions to gain insight into the unconscious dynamics at play. The therapist may offer interpretations, insights, and reflections to help the patient gain a deeper understanding of themselves.
Key concepts in psychodynamic therapy include:
- Unconscious mind: According to psychodynamic theory, there are thoughts, feelings, and desires that operate outside of conscious awareness but still actively influence current behaviors and experiences.
- Defense mechanisms: Individuals may employ various defense mechanisms, such as repression or denial, to cope with difficult or unacceptable thoughts and feelings. Psychodynamic therapy aims to identify and address these defense mechanisms.
- Transference/Countertransference: Transference refers to the patient’s unconscious feelings and reactions towards the therapist that are based on past relationships and experiences. Exploring transference can provide insight into unresolved conflicts and relational patterns. Countertransference refers to the therapist’s emotional reactions and responses to the patient.
Psychodynamic Therapy can be long-term or short-term, depending on the patient’s presenting issues and needs. The main goal of this approach is to help the patient develop more insight into their inner conflicts, in order to make lasting changes in the present in their emotional well-being and relationships.
Speak to a Psychodynamic Therapy Specialist at The Hummingbird Clinic.
Our highly-trained therapy professionals are ready and able to help you through the process at every turn. To start your journey, contact one of our therapists that specializes in psychodynamic therapy.
If you have any questions about therapy or are not sure about how to get started, contact us anytime!