What Is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

By: Samantha Dewitt

Updated February 13, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault

If you're thinking about getting any type of therapy or if you're not sure if therapy is right for you then you might be looking at the different options. Maybe you're trying to figure out whether this type of therapy or some other type of therapy is the best way for you to go. No matter what the reason, you've found something about psychodynamic psychotherapy, and now you're curious about just what it means, what it is and whether it's going to be the right thing for you. So let's take a closer look.

Source: pexels.com

What Is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

To put it simply, this type of therapy is a type of talk-therapy. But we'll get into it a little bit more than that. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is considered to be very similar to what's called psychoanalytic therapy. It's an in-depth method that's used to encourage participants to talk and to share about themselves and their relationships and interactions. This type of therapy focuses on the way that the patient reacts and interacts with the world around them. That doesn't necessarily mean the world as a whole, but the world that the individual belongs to.

Where It's Best

If you're thinking about this type of therapy or you're wondering if it's for you, you should know how it's generally used. In most instances, this type of therapy is used for patients who are suffering from depression or another type of serious psychological disorder. People who are struggling to make meaningful, personal relationships or those who don't understand the meaning of their life. More than that, this type of therapy can be used with individuals who have a type of eating disorder or those who might be suffering from addiction or anxiety disorders.

Getting The Right Help

For anyone who is looking into this type of therapy and who is getting this type of therapy, the important thing is to understand that it focuses on speaking your mind. The patient is encouraged to say absolutely anything that they want. This could be positive things or negative things. It could be fears or dreams. It could be fantasies or problems in their life. No matter what the patient thinks, they should speak it out loud and then try to work through it or try to understand it. All of these things help the patient to drive through and overcome some of their symptoms.

What's important in this therapy, however, isn't just trying to overcome symptoms but also to build up self-esteem and to understand what the abilities of the individual are and to figure out ways to use them. The patient should be able to learn how to form strong relationships and how to continue to build up those relationships throughout their lives. In general, this type of therapy lasts around a year or less, but it can also be carried out longer if the patient continues to make strides and wants to continue the sessions.

The key here is that you're going to recognize and overcome negative feelings or even repressed emotions. You do this through a process of acknowledging and understanding and then expressing those feelings. After all, you can't overcome or get through something that you don't acknowledge. For the patient, this will help them with things like relationships. It will also help them understand how things that happened earlier in their life are continuing to affect the way that they do everything from making decisions to creating strong relationships with others.

Source: pexels.com

If you already know what happened to cause you to regress socially or that causes you to feel inadequate for making relationships this type of therapy can still work with you to better understand what you need to do to overcome these problems and experiences. It can help you to evaluate better what you went through in the past so that you can make sure you're moving forward positively. It's not always going to be an easy process, but it's definitely something that you can accomplish if you know who to work with and what you're doing throughout the whole thing.

Finding Someone That Can Help

For those who think that this type of therapy really can help them, it's time to look for your answers and to look for someone that can help you along the way. You need to find a professional that you can feel comfortable with and someone that knows what they're doing. You need to go through a full process to make sure that the person you're going to be working with is the right one for you and the situation that you're experiencing.

The first thing to do is to make sure that the psychologist you're considering is licensed and experienced. You want someone who has been trained and who have gone through all of the schoolings to make sure that they can work with you as a psychologist and not that they're doing this on their own. Licensing lets you know that someone has checked up on them and made sure they know what they're talking about and that they're getting the continuing education that they need to understand you and your situation.

Next, look for experience in the area that you're struggling with. If you have depression or anxiety you want a psychologist who is trained in those areas and who has experience in those areas. You want someone who knows how to help you with the things you're experiencing, not just someone who has a general knowledge of mental health disorders or psychological issues. The more experience they have and the more specific that experience is the better the level of help that you're going to get. That can translate to you starting to feel more like yourself a little sooner.

Make sure you feel comfortable with the person you choose. Having the best, most well-trained psychologist around isn't going to help if you don't feel comfortable opening up to them. After all, you have to open up to them to tell them what you're feeling and what you're experiencing. If you're not doing these things you're going to see very little (if any) improvement and that's likely going to discourage you from continuing to talk to anyone. That means you're not going to get the help that you need and that you deserve for your life.

If you don't feel comfortable with the first psychologist that you talk to there's no rule that says you have to go back to them. Instead, take some time to search out a different psychologist and see how you feel when you talk to them. It may take you a few tries to find someone that you're comfortable with, or you may find someone on the first try. No matter how long it takes just to make sure that you find the right person and that you don't give up until you get there. You're going to be really glad when it comes time for that session, and you're happy with who you're talking to.

Source: pexels.com

Where To Find Help

So, if you're certain that you want psychodynamic psychotherapy and you know what it's going to take to find the right therapist, how do you start the search? The first thing to figure out is the type of therapy you want. You can always opt for in-person therapy, which is the kind you often see on TV with the therapist in a chair with a clipboard and the patient laying out on a white couch and talking about their feelings. Now, in-person therapy is not always going to look like that (and it rarely does), but it's the style that you probably think of first.

Online therapy is a slightly newer method that's taking off and for some great reasons. With online therapy, you can interact with someone who is located anywhere in the world. It's just like having any other face-to-face call through your internet. You can talk to the person and even see them, but they're on your computer screen instead of you being in their office. This makes it more convenient for you to have sessions no matter where you are, and it means you can continue doing the things you need in your life.

BetterHelp is one system that lets you interact with a psychotherapist directly online. You don't have to worry about how you're going to get in touch with someone or even if you can find someone that practices the type of therapy that you're looking for. You can find just about anything you might need or want online. With this type of therapy especially you're going to find plenty of therapists, and you're going to find plenty of information about different types of therapy, different types of mental health issues and a whole lot more.


Previous Article

How Different Psychotherapy Techniques Can Impact You

Next Article

I'm Looking For Psychotherapy Near Me: What Are The Best Options?
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Counselor Today
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.