What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a type of therapy that helps people understand how unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviour can impact their day-to-day lives. It is based on the idea that the way we feel about ourselves and others, as well as our actions, are influenced by the unconscious. In other words, the way we think about ourselves today has its roots in childhood experiences.
Psychodynamic therapy is an interactive and exploratory approach to working with patients. The patient and therapist work together to understand the patient's thoughts and feelings, including how they relate to past experiences. It helps patients make sense of irrational or unexplainable feelings, emotions and behaviours by exploring the meaning of their experiences from a present-day perspective.
The unconscious mind is everything we are not aware of—our thoughts, feelings and memories that have been forgotten or repressed. It can influence our actions without us being aware of it. We can access this part of our minds using dreams and free association (talking about anything you want).
What happens during psychodynamic psychotherapy sessions
The initial sessions of psychodynamic psychotherapy focus on building trust between you and your therapist, so you can start looking at your past experiences more objectively. You'll learn about the ways that these past experiences impact your current life, which may help you understand why certain things happen in your daily life.
Throughout therapy sessions, patterns in unconscious thought will be shown to have affected both your behaviour as well as your relationships throughout life (such as family members). This gives us insight into how you are feeling now - sometimes you may not even be aware of it.
In psychodynamic therapy, you will work together with a therapist in a safe environment where you should are able to talk openly without fear of judgment. The therapist may use techniques such as free association or dream interpretation to help patients understand how their past experiences impact your present-day life.
Because this type of therapy focuses on helping you understand yourself and your past experiences, it can be beneficial for those who are depressed or who have recurring thoughts that interfere with daily life.
The purpose of psychodynamic psychotherapy
While some patients may experience relief from symptoms after just a few sessions, psychodynamic therapy often takes longer than other types of therapy in order to work effectively. This can be frustrating for people who are used to seeing results more quickly or who want to make changes in their lives right away.
However, if you’re willing to commit yourself long-term and be patient with the process, psychodynamic therapy can be an effective treatment option. Your therapist will help you understand what's causing your current problems so that you can make lasting changes in your life.