Psychodynamic therapy is the oldest modern therapy, originating and tied to psychoanalytic theory (e.g. Freud). Psychodynamic therapy is based on the highly developed, multifaceted theory of human development and interaction. Like psychoanalysis, it stresses the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist, but can be done on a shorter-term basis.
According to psychodynamic theory, behavior is influenced by unconscious or subconscious thoughts used as defense mechanisms to cope with painful feelings and life circumstances. The basis of psychodynamic therapy is to help clients uncover and analyze hidden emotions, thoughts, early life experiences and beliefs to gain insight into current issues. Identifying behavioral patterns dictated by the unconscious mind is the first step to addressing issues like depression and enacting healthy changes.
Psychodynamic therapy helps bring the unconscious mind into consciousness. By doing so, clients are able to unravel, experience and understand deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. Therapists adopt an attitude of unconditional acceptance to develop a trusting relationship with clients. This encourages the client to open up and explore unresolved hidden issues negatively impacting their moods and behaviors. The therapist help clients learn a different way of thinking, resulting in personal development and growth.
A psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms tied to past dysfunctional relationships, manifesting in current problems such as depression, phobias, anxiety and substance abuse. Psychodynamic therapy helps people address emotional suffering that is woven into the fabric of their lives. Benefits include: