What is Psychodynamic Therapy?
Psychoanalytic therapies, and Psychodynamic Therapy is no different, have unconscious processes at the heart of the work. Psychodynamic Counselling is derived from psychoanalysis and the work of Freud, Jung and others that have followed. It is an approach that uses psychoanalytic concepts and techniques to explain the human condition, growth and development and the nature of psychological problems. Counsellors are not analysts and work with clients in a wide variety of settings with both long and short term clients.
Psychodynamic counselling uses the therapeutic relationship to gain an insight into the usually unconscious relationship patterns that have developed since early childhood. Memories and other early evidence of early relationships are employed to make sense out of the current concerns. A linkage between the past and the present situation which includes thoughts, feelings and behaviour needs to be found and acknowledged by the client. The process of change takes place as a client becomes more and more aware of the power of the unconscious, including defence mechanisms, instinctual behaviour and rules for the individual’s life that they have constructed over the years. As they become more aware the client then learns to influence the way that they live and feel about the world and themselves and are more able to control their natural responses and actions.
The therapeutic relationship is based on acceptance, empathy and understanding, with an emphasis on creating a climate of trust and understanding between counsellor and client. The counsellor does not judge the client and seeks to take account of the client’s world which includes all of the traumas, cultural differences, sexual orientation, disability or social setting.