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 the present experience, so they can be understood, processed and resolved. A bi-product of this process is relief from symptoms such as anxiety or depressed mood. While psychodynamic therapy has its roots in Freudian psychoanalysis, it 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 if you don’t understand why you keep repeating the same patterns in relationships, or 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 improve your 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), usually 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 difficulties in life in a 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.