Psychodynamic therapy is a form of depth therapy that focuses on the patient's relationship with society, rather than the relationship between a therapist and the patient. Psychodynamic therapy can be used for any kind of mental health issue, but is mostly used to treat forms of depression and other major psychological illnesses.
Some of these include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, eating disorders, social anxiety disorders, and addictions.
In psychodynamic therapy, the therapist will encourage the patient to talk about anything that is on their mind such as fears, worries, dreams, desires, and goals. Psychodynamic therapy's purpose is to help the patient build self-esteem and learn to use their own abilities to improve their situation. Most patients who seek psychodynamic therapy have trouble maintaining relationships and/or holding onto a job, so the mental health professional may focus on ways to do that. Psychodynamic therapists try to teach a client to find their own patterns in their beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, to get the best insight on their inner self.
Some of the theories of psychodynamic therapy include overcoming repressed and negative emotions, understanding and expressing positive emotions, and recognizing contradictory feelings and how they affect interpersonal relationships. Some of the ways a therapist can help during psychodynamic therapy is by teaching the patient to analyze their current issues and behaviors and find new ways to improve their circumstances. Some of the theorists of psychodynamic therapy include Klein, Freud, Guntrip, Jung, and Winnicott.
The three basic steps to creating a psychodynamic formulation include describing the primary patterns and problems, reviewing the patient's developmental history, and linking the patterns to the patient's history.
Psychodynamic therapy is just one of over 500 types of therapy to treat depression and other mental health disorders. Here, we will discuss a few other widely used methods outside of psychodynamic therapy, including interpersonal therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
This type of therapy is the most common, and focuses mostly on the relationship between the patient and the therapist. Psychoanalysis started with Sigmund Freud, and has been used for everything from depression to addiction disorders. Most people who attend psychotherapy treat it as a long-term or lifelong therapy, visiting the same therapist for years. The relationship between the patient and therapist becomes so intimate during psychodynamic therapy that the therapist can often tell when something is going on, and knows how to help.
Interpersonal therapy was started in the 1970s by Myrna Weissman and Gerald Klerman as a unique structure model based on communication and attachment theories. It is usually a short process of about four or five months. Some of the techniques implemented include role playing and positive reinforcement. This can be good for many types of illnesses, but is most commonly used on those patients with:
This is a short-term behavioral therapy that is designed to help the patient see the link between feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and behavior or actions. Through special focused techniques such as mindfulness, relaxation, journaling, and social exercises, the therapist helps the patient develop a plan of action. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on cognitive readjustment, which is adjusting the patient's thoughts to directly influence their ideas and behavior. Some of the mental health disorders treated with cognitive behavioral therapy include:
The applied behavior therapy technique is a systematic process that focuses on a certain behavior that needs to be changed. This technique is most commonly used for autism. For example, if the patient has anger management problems, the therapist will focus on rerouting that anger to something more constructive. There are different techniques that the therapist can use to help adjust the behavior such as:
Many people choose to do psychodynamic therapy online rather than the traditional face-to-face type of therapy. The truth is, they are both equally effective for psychodynamic therapy, and the online advantage is a choice good for many reasons.
For one thing, the cost is lower because the therapist does not have to pay the cost of leasing an office, paying staff to run that office, and the cost for the utilities for the office. Both the patient and the therapist benefit from this because there are no transportation costs and the appointments are more flexible because they can be done just about anywhere you have internet service. You can use your smart phone, tablet, laptop, or personal computer.
Another benefit to online therapy is that you do not have to search to find a therapist in your area. The therapist can be anywhere as long as they are licensed to provide treatment in your state. You do not have to leave your home; or if you are working, you can have an appointment on your break, wherever you may be.
When you see a traditional therapist in their office, you have to make an appointment and wait until that appointment to talk about what is bothering you. As is the case with many mental disorders, things can come up at any time, day or night. With online therapy, you can text, email, or send a message online to your therapist anytime you need to, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Of course, they may not answer you right that minute (especially at odd hours), but they will answer you as soon as they can. Most online therapists check their messages several times per day, so it is usually not long before you get a reply. That is a lot better than waiting several weeks to get an appointment.
Ease of Use
For patients with anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, online therapy may be the only way they can seek help. The reason for this is that many people with these mental health conditions have a difficult time going anywhere or doing anything. In fact, many people with depression may have trouble just getting out of bed in the morning. Those with anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder tend to have difficulties with going out in public sometimes. Therefore, being able to connect with a therapist from the safety of their own home can be a lifesaver for them.
There have been many studies done on psychodynamic therapy, both online and traditional. The long-term effects for psychodynamic therapy show that the effect of psychodynamic therapy online can be as significant as that reported in studies of in-person psychodynamic therapy, as well as other types of psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. While it may seem like traditional therapy is more personal and hands-on, the benefit of being able to seek help discreetly — including talking through video chat, and working on exercises in the privacy of one’s home — makes it a better choice for many.
Online psychodynamic therapy can be a discreet, effective way of receiving treatment for a variety of mental health concerns. If you are experiencing symptoms related to depression, anxiety, or other issues, reach out today.
A licensed online therapist can address things like depression, anxiety, anger, raising children, and other specific mental health conditions, problems, or illnesses. Qualified & experienced therapists help people feel their best, improve mental health, and strengthen or heal relationships. Online therapy is designed to make it as easy as possible to get the help and support you need without having to even leave the house.
All 20,000+ licensed mental health professionals and therapists currently available on the BetterHelp.com platform are experienced practitioners. Our online therapists come from a wide array of different backgrounds, practices, beliefs and cultures. They practice a variety of therapy methods, including psychodynamic therapy.
We have therapists whose expertise lies in mental health and wellness, marriage and family concerns, couples counseling, addiction, etc. For example, if someone has depression or anxiety (or other mental health conditions), speaking with a therapist through the BetterHelp platform & website who is experienced in this realm can help the individual recover, regain their energy, and move forward in life in a productive and meaningful way. A couples' therapist can use our platform to help couples with marriage, trust, or other related concerns. We even have psychologists for teenagers who can help navigate the concerns that teens face daily.
What is psychodynamic therapy?
In psychodynamic therapy, the therapist will encourage the patient to talk about anything that is on their mind such as their fears, worries, dreams, desires, and goals. The purpose is to help the patient build self-esteem and learn to use their own abilities to improve their situation. Most patients who seek psychodynamic therapy have trouble maintaining relationships and/or holding onto a job, so the therapist may focus on ways to do that. Psychodynamic therapists try to teach their patients to find their own patterns in their beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, to get the best insight on their inner self.