What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Using the theories derived from Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Bowlby and others, psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses on understanding how our past experiences contribute to our current behaviours. The client is encouraged to talk about relationships with parents and other important people, and their childhood experiences, so as to better understand and manage both conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings. 

Psychodynamic psychotherapy works on the basis that the mind is dynamic (affected by experience) and changes over time and in relationship to others. Psychodynamic therapy tends to be less intensive and briefer than psychoanalysis, and also relies more on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist. It is, nevertheless, a serious way of looking at what lies beneath the issues a client comes to the therapist to discuss.


Who benefits from psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Though helpful for the whole range of psychological issues, psychodynamic psychotherapy is often used to treat anxiety disorders, long-term depression, relationship difficulties difficulties, and experience of trauma or abuse. Psychodynamic psychotherapy tends to suit individuals who are curious about their inner-lives and recurring patterns of behaviour.  Psychodynamic psychotherapy is also suitable for those who want their therapist to take a relatively active role.


Relevant associations

UKCP

BACP


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Last updated on September 1 2015