Posted on March 6, 2013
Last modified on April 1, 2019
Psychodynamic therapy is a type of talk therapy that helps draw out memories or feelings from the subconscious in order to resolve them. The therapist uses techniques from various psychoanalytical schools of thought in order to help the individual explore repressed emotions.
A core concept is that uncomfortable or painful memories or thoughts are kept hidden away in the individual’s subconscious by a series of defense mechanisms, which can manifest as anything from anger to obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Once specific disturbing memories or feelings are brought to light, the therapist can help the individual process them and make positive behavioral changes.
Therapists employing psychodynamic approaches can draw on a number of different techniques, including free association. With the free association technique, the individual keeps a stream of consciousness without filtering their thoughts. Jumping from one thought to the next in this state can help bring up thoughts, memories or emotions that would normally be repressed. The therapist can offer interpretations and collaborate with the individual to make behavioral changes given this new understanding.
Psychodynamic therapy often lasts about eight months, during which the sessions are frequent and highly targeted. Traditional psychodynamic therapy occurs over a longer period of time, typically at least two years. Psychodynamic therapy is not a “quick fix” but may offer long-lasting results since the roots of problems are exposed.
Therapists at Promises Behavioral Health treatment centers may employ psychodynamic therapy, among other approaches, to assist with a wide variety of mental health concerns, including:
People who are interested in exploring their subconscious are best suited for psychodynamic therapy. Those who are resistant, hesitant or feel too vulnerable may struggle to bring subconscious thoughts to light.
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