Psychodynamic therapy is a therapeutic method that is associated with the process of psychoanalysis, which is a talk-therapy derived from the principles and practices developed by Sigmund Freud and other prominent psychoanalysts. Rather than focusing on the therapist-patient relationship, psychodynamic theory is focused on the patient and their relationship with the external world. Psychodynamic therapy is usually of shorter duration for the frequency of meetings required and in their total number than psychoanalytic therapy.
What is Psychodynamic Therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy has been called treatment for a mind in motion. This is a literal translation of the term psychodynamic. What this means is that in coming to therapy, the mind of the patient is constantly in motion, ever-changing due to the many forces coming from several directions that are working on it. The mind is considered to be in motion because it is always at work, processing information, considering and applying assumptions, making logical connections or jumping to conclusions, reacting to and making value judgments on perceptions. Thus, the mind might be seen metaphorically to be on the run, and the objective of psychodynamic therapy is to treat the mind that is constantly in motion, thinking about and doing things.
The attention of psychodynamic therapy is to recognize that people with emotional problems may be the victims of their ever-racing minds, so therapy must reach them in a state of motion, and, in a sense, to slow it down long enough for the patient to gain more awareness and understanding of his or her mental activity and learn to separate what is important from what is unimportant, reality from fantasy, and what are valid and invalid bases for thoughts and actions.
Applications for Psychodynamic Therapy
The most common use of Psychodynamic therapy is in cases of depression and other disorders that are advanced and causing dissociation. It is particularly useful for patients who feel they have lost meaning in their lives and associated with the formation and continuation of interpersonal relationships. Other uses for this therapy is in association with addictions, social anxiety, and disorders affecting eating.
How Does Psychodynamic Therapy Work?
In working with the therapist, the patient talks about thoughts, ideas, or experiences which come to mind. These may be about a wide range of topics, such as fantasies or dreams, personal problems, fears, wants, and needs. The objective of the talk-therapy is the reduction of undesirable symptoms, and an increase in the self-esteem of the patient.
Another objective is to increase the patient’s knowledge and use of their personal talents and abilities in self-understanding. Important, also, is the development of improved interpersonal relationships. Improvement may continue beyond the period of therapy as the result of the expansion of the patient’s self awareness and understanding. Therapy usually takes place on a short-term basis of a year or less for acute problems or long-term for more chronic problems.
Why Undergo Psychodynamic Therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy is oriented towards leading the patient to recognizing and gaining an understanding of the origin and effects of repressed emotions, negative, and contradictory feelings in regard to him or herself and other people with whom they have personal relationships. Basic to this is providing the guidance for the patient to discover how past emotional experiences can affect present thoughts, feelings, and relationships.
While some patients may actually recognize the sources of their problems, they need help in working through them in circumstances of actual relationships. Processes are explored through which the patient can learn to recognize the sources of particular problems and work through them to not only analyze, but also to resolve their personal problems. With this awareness and knowledge, then, the patient learns to modify behavior to resolve past and current problems and to develop approaches to dealing with other problems which might arise
Measurable Results of Psychodynamic Therapy
Long-Term Effects of Psychodynamic Therapy
Long-term psychodynamic therapy might last typically for about two years for healing and significant change to take place. This is because the process focuses on the identity of the patient and the discovery of aspects of the patient’s very early development which may take a while to arise in the therapeutic process, and, after that starts occurring, then the integration of the resulting knowledge into the thought, personality, and behavior of the patient. What this means is that it is important to discover that the patient got stuck in an earlier age of development which has had differing effects on his or her later life and relationships. Then, the process involves the pursuit of discovering, developing, and enacting change strategies for emotional responses and behavior that work.
Short-Term Effects of Psychodynamic Therapy
Short-term progress, development, and change are also possible through psychodynamic therapy.
Some psychologists believe that short-term psychodynamic therapy can affect positive change fast enough to be productive in making such significant changes that long-term therapy may not be necessary. For this to be the most effective, there needs to be a more limited focus for therapeutic activity and treatment rather than focusing it on a broad range of circumstances or problems. For this to work, the limited focus must be discovered through the interactions of the patient and therapist early on in the treatment regime, preferably by the end of the second session. After identifying the issue or problem confronting the patient, in pursuing the therapy, the psychologist monitors the progress of therapy, keeping the focus on the major issue. By limiting the subject matter issue for analysis, the therapist works with the client in seeking a better understanding of the problem or issue and the identification of varying approaches to contribute to its resolution.
What to Expect in a Psychodynamic Therapist
At Blair Wellness Group, you will work with a licensed and experienced psychotherapist who is not only professional in their relationship with you, but who will also be a caring and concerned partner in working with you to encounter and deal with the problems and issues that trouble you. You can feel confident that when you call Blair Wellness Group, your case will receive the quality of attention and effort that you expect and deserve.