Psychodynamic therapy is similar to psychoanalytic therapy in that it is an in-depth form of talk therapy based on the theories and principles of psychoanalysis.
Psychodynamic therapy is focused on the client’s relationship with his or her internal world along with the client-therapist relationship.
How does it work?
Therapeutic alliance: The personal connection between therapist and client that enables them to work in tandem so that the client can gain insight into aspects of experience that may be difficult to talk and think about.
Exploration: Relationships and circumstances of early life continue to affect people as adults. Exploring these relationships, and the behavior that results from unconscious as well as conscious or rational motives, can lead to better ways of managing your life.
Transference: A person’s characteristic responses to other people often emerge in relation to the therapist, a phenomenon known as transference. The therapeutic relationship provides a window into the dynamics of a client’s relationships outside the therapy office and offers an opportunity to recognize and change patterns.
Identifying patterns: Early-life experiences, especially with parents and other authority figures, shape present-day outlook and relationships. The goal of psychodynamic therapy is not to dwell on the past but to explore how prior relationships and attachments may provide insight into current psychological problems.
Free associations: I encourage a client to speak as freely as possible about thoughts, desires, dreams, fears and fantasies as they come to mind. This unstructured, uncensored process of reporting provides access to thoughts and feelings that might otherwise remain outside of awareness.
Acknowledging emotion: A client is encouraged to explore emotions including those that are contradictory, threatening or not immediately apparent. The focus is on using therapy to gain emotional as well as intellectual insight.
Through therapy, a client can recognize and overcome the automatic ways through which he or she may avoid distressing thoughts. These patterns are likely to manifest outside of therapy as well. We work to develop more flexible and adaptive ways of coping.