What exactly is psychodynamic therapy? How is it different from other approaches and how might it help you?
Psychodynamic therapy is an “insight-oriented” therapy that focuses on helping you explore unconscious aspects of yourself. It aims to uncover internal and interpersonal processes that might affect your relationships or cause mental distress in the form of symptoms like anxiety and depression. We know that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are heavily influenced by conflicts that are out of our conscious awareness. A psychodynamic therapist is trained to tune into these aspects and help you gain a deeper understanding about how they impact your life. It aims to bring unconscious conflicts into our present experience, so they can be understood, processed and resolved. A bi-product of this process is that you can be relieved of symptoms such as anxiety or depressed mood. While it has its roots in Freudian psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy is practised in a less intense way and involves sitting in a chair rather than lying on a couch.
Psychodynamic therapy can be very helpful for people who don’t understand why they keep repeating the same patterns in relationships and is also an effective treatment for many mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It is also helpful if you have tried other forms of therapy but found them lacking or too superficial. It can be very useful for understanding the underlying cause of psychological symptoms such as (but not limited to) excessive worrying, social anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, low mood, suicidal thoughts, lack of motivation or chronic irritability. It aims to develop people’s self-awareness, understanding the influence of the past on your present behaviour, and deal with the root cause of symptoms rather than providing strategies to manage them. This is quite different to strategy-based therapies such as CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy) which is more focused on problem-solving and providing strategies to change.
If you decide to try this approach, you can expect to learn much more about yourself, grow to handle many difficulties in life in a much more adaptive and healthy way, remove blocks to moving forward in your life, improve your relationship with others, improve your relationship with yourself, and increase your productivity. While it may take longer to reach a resolution, psychodynamic therapy can certainly provide more lasting relief from symptoms.
At Mindwell our team has a special interest in treating adults with a range of psychological symptoms using a psychodynamic approach. We also use a blend of other therapy approaches depending on your specific needs. If you have any questions or want to book in for a consultations please call us.
Are you suffering with anxiety and looking for some adult counselling in Geelong? If you struggle with symptoms of anxiety, you are not alone. In fact, in any one year in Australia approximately 2 million adults have anxiety. Luckily, it is highly treatable and adult counselling can help.
If you are an anxious person, you may work hard to hide this from other people. From the outside people may see you as someone who is always in control of situations, organised, very good at planning, someone who works very hard, is a high achiever or perfectionist, is always punctual or perhaps thoughtful of others. On the inside however, you might feel insecure, lacking in confidence, on edge, or maybe you feel on the brink of panic or overwhelm some days.
Your anxious feelings can lead to being very preoccupied with pleasing other people, even at great cost to yourself. Anxiety can result in you avoiding people, places or things just to make your life easier. It can leave you feeling constantly afraid that your performance at work is not good enough or that you will not have anything interesting to say at that social event on the weekend. The standards you set for yourself might be unrelenting and unhealthy.
Anxiety gets worse when left untreated. Over time you learn to manage or hide your true feelings, and you find ways to avoid certain situations that trigger panic in you. Yet as time passes, your life can become smaller and smaller, more and more controlled or restricted. You don’t experience any freedom in your life.
At Mindwell Psychology, we frequently work with adults who experience anxiety in all its forms. Our approach is to gain insight into the underlying causes of your symptoms which are unique to the individual. See our page about Anxiety Therapy for more information or Contact Mindwell today to book a session.
Are you having problems in your relationships and looking for counselling in Geelong? Adult counselling can help you understand and overcome many issues to do with your intimate and interpersonal relationships.
Relationship problems can range from minor challenges to persistent and deeply ingrained negative patterns: For example, do you struggle with aspects of relationships such as opening up and being vulnerable, developing trust, communicating effectively, dealing with conflict? Do you find it hard to really connect with others beyond the surface level? Are you passive-aggressive, a chronic people-pleaser, or do you lose yourself easily when in relationships? Do you often encounter feelings of anxiety, frustration, jealousy, insecurity, or dissatisfaction when it comes to relationships? Perhaps you have difficulty maintaining friendships or have very intense but short-lived relationships? When we repeatedly experience challenges in our relationships, whether it be with friends, colleagues, intimate partners, or family members, it can lead to feelings of emptiness, shame, confusion, loneliness and unhappiness.
The way in which we relate to others and the quality of our adult relationships stems from our early attachment relationships. Exploring the relationship dynamics of our family of origin in counselling can help people understand and unlock negative patterns they experience as adults. Individual adult counselling with a psychodynamic or interpersonal therapist can help shine a light on these unconscious or obscured aspects of self. Mindwell Psychology is a team of highly trained professional psychologists in the Geelong area who specialise in adult counselling for interpersonal and relationship issues. Contact us today and make an appointment.
Are you in Geelong and suffering from post-natal depression? Counselling for post-natal depression can help you feel better.
Pregnancy and the birth of a child is a time when women undergo the most significant physical, psychological, emotional and social changes in their lives. If you are a new mother, how you adapt to these changes, and also how your partner and other loved ones adapt, can have a huge impact on your mental health. Symptoms of depression or anxiety are also common in men who are adjusting to their new role as a parent and coming to terms with huge changes affecting their lives too.
In the post-natal period, women’s mental health is particularly vulnerable, especially if already under stress from relationship, family, financial, work, health or social pressures. There is added risk if you have experienced anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns in the past. Seeking timely and helpful support at this critical point can be very beneficial, not only for you, but also for your baby and the development of your important relationship.
Common symptoms of post-natal depression or anxiety in men an women include:
- Feeling on edge or anxious
- Excessive worry
- Panic attacks
- Low confidence
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Feeling of guilt or inadequacy
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling miserable
- Feeling worthless
- Low self-esteem
- Irritability or anger
- Self-critical thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts
If you have experienced any of these symptoms following the birth of your child, seeing a therapist can help you find ways to adjust to being a parent, get back on track, reduce symptoms, and improve how you feel about yourself and your baby.
Psychologists can help with many aspects of this life stage including pregnancy planning, preparing for parenthood, adjusting to parenthood, exploring changes in identity and roles, understanding past and present attachment issues in the transition to motherhood or fatherhood and managing new family dynamics. For more information about attachment and motherhood see the Peri-natal page, or you can also book an appointment at Mindwell for support.
Are you an adult looking for therapy around trust issues and relationships in the Geelong region? You need to see an adult therapist trained to help with interpersonal and relationship issues.
Are you wondering why:
- Your relationships do not feel close or satisfying?
- Relationships trigger feelings of anxiety, shame or worthlessness?
- You struggle to let people in?
- It is really hard to trust people, especially those closest to you.
- You expect people to hurt, use or betray you?
- People close to you have mistreated, abused or taken advantage of you?
- You always feel on guard and need to protect yourself in relationships?
- You try to hurt people or test them before they hurt you?
This may be because your experience of relationships throughout life has been painful, and so close relationships are not spaces where you feel safe, secure or allow yourself to be vulnerable. Perhaps you have experienced some form of abuse. You tend to feel suspicious, untrusting, or hypervigilant to being hurt. Essentially your brain is preparing for the worst case scenario, which is to be hurt, shamed or let down again. Sometimes you wonder if it would be easier to be alone than to keep trying with relationships. At the same time, there is a part of you that desperately wants connection in your life. This part of you wants to feel loved, satisfied, secure and happy, and it seeks closeness. Ultimately you just want to experience less anxiety and pain when it comes to relationships.
If you can relate to these feelings and experiences, then adult interpersonal therapy could be very useful for understanding and dealing with this recurring pattern. However, your psychologist needs to be skilled at treating interpersonal and relationship issues. At Mindwell, this type of adult therapy is our specialty and the team are passionate, highly trained, and effective in helping people overcome these interpersonal issues to get more out of life. See our page on interpersonal and relationship therapy or make an appointment today to see one of our psychologists.
COVID-19 lockdowns have created a “shadow pandemic” of family violence. Current exposure to job loss or change, financial strain, unpredictability about the future, family pressures from home schooling or changed child care arrangements, coupled with spending increased time together at home and being cut off from normal social connections that might buffer some of these stressors, is putting extreme pressure on family relationships.
Dealing with these pressures may require professional help. At Mindwell we have seen the direct impact that COVID-19 is having on the mental health and welfare of families. See our Services for more info.
The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to an increase in people seeking support for symptoms of depression in the Geelong region.
The most common symptoms of depression include feeling unusually flat, sad or hopeless, getting irritated easily, having suicidal thoughts, lacking motivation, having difficulty making decisions or concentrating, and experiencing changes to sleep or appetite.
The stress brought on by the current state of uncertainty, and the significant changes to our work, finances and lifestyle can precipitate symptoms of depression. Depression is a common mental health condition that is regularly and successfully treated by psychologists. See our Psychotherapy page for more information or to book an appointment.
Many people are seeking treatment for anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the unpredictable nature of our lives during this pandemic has left you feeling out of control, on edge, overwhelmed or swamped with worrying thoughts, you are not alone. Likewise, if you have long-standing symptoms of anxiety that have increased due to recent stress, this is very common at the moment.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1.Stay in the present:
Our minds only have a limited capacity of attention at any given moment, so it helps to focus that attention on what is going on in the present, rather than getting caught up in what has happened in the past (rumination), or what could happen (worry). Both of these are out of our control so thinking about them can create anxiety and low mood. Introducing just 5-10 minutes of mindfulness to your daily routine could be a huge help right now to remind you about staying present.
2. Keep focused on what is in your control:
It is easy to get caught up in worrying about things that are out of our control. At Mindwell we have noticed a surge in people’s catastrophic thinking, when the future feels uncertain it is normal for our minds to try and come up with solutions or to problem-solve. Trouble is, what happens in relation to COVID-19 is not really in our control. It can help to focus on what is in your control. For example stay focused on doing the right thing to stop the spread of the disease, looking after people you care about, and maintaining connections to friends, albeit via social media or Zoom.
3. Get outside for exercise every day:
Being outdoors and getting some exercise are two things that can really boost your mood and put problems in perspective. Keep moving and get outside.
4. Maintain a routine:
Having a routine can be very grounding and containing. Now is a great time to develop a routine around meals, exercise, and relaxation. Our brains love predictability and when external forces are out of our control, we can create predictable routines in our day.
If your anxiety is getting out of hand or you want someone to talk to about it, please reach out and book an appointment at Mindwell. See our page on Psychotherapy Types for more details.