What is Psychodynamic Therapy? Characteristics, Uses

Psychodynamic is a therapeutic approach comprised of understanding various mental processes and emotions of a person. It helps people to have a deeper insight into how they think and feel things in their lives. Today, we’ll discuss what is psychodynamic therapy; its characteristics, uses, effectiveness, how it works, and what you expect out of it.

When they have the insight and understanding of their mental process, then they can improve their lives by choosing better options. It also allows them to bring satisfaction and happiness by achieving goals and objectives and cultivating better relationships in their lives.

The roots of the psychodynamic theory are in the psychoanalysis theory, but the process of traditional psychoanalysis theory is lengthier and intensive. The focus of psychoanalysis theory is on the relationship between the therapist and the patient. However, the emphasis of psychodynamic therapy is on the relationships of the patient with the people and the outer world.

What is Psychodynamic Therapy? 

In simple words, we can say that psychodynamic is a type of talk and conversation therapy. It follows the notion that when people discuss the problems and issues that they’re facing in their lives with the therapist, then talking helps them to find solace and reach some form of solution.

The psychodynamic therapist helps them to better analyze their conflicts, emotion, feelings, and thoughts that are impacting their behavior. The therapeutic approach also helps people to better comprehend their unconscious motivation level that impacts people how they act, feel, and think in a certain way.

The psychotherapeutic approach is beneficial for people dealing with emotional and mental distress. Most importantly, it improves their emotional growth, insight, and self-reflection.

When you know the roots of your emotional pattern, then you can easily deal with the problems of your life. You would learn such techniques that would help you to face challenges in your routine life.

Characteristics of Psychodynamic Therapy 

Some of the main characteristics of psychodynamic therapy are as follows;

Recognizing Pattern

The therapeutic approach allows people to learn and identify the pattern in their relationship and in their behavior. Often people deal with the problems without knowing the pattern and tendencies. People can learn new approaches to deal with the problem when they learn to recognize the pattern.

Understanding Your Emotions

Studies have shown that psychodynamic therapy is beneficial for understanding and exploring your feelings and emotions. People would identify the patterns that are influencing their behavior based on the insight of their emotions and feelings. They can make changes easily by recognizing their emotions.

Improved Relationship

The main focus of psychodynamic therapy is on the relationships of the patients with other people. The therapist helps them how they should cultivate the relationship and respond to other people.

The relation with the therapist allows the professional to analyze the relationship capability of the patient with the other people through the technique of transference. It is a two-way approach that allows them to learn and change their thought pattern for better relationships.

Uses of Psychodynamic Therapy 

Psychodynamic therapy helps people in many ways, and the duration of its session is shorter and not regular. It helps people in dealing with various types of mental health issues like;

  • Substance use disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Psychological distress
  • Personality disorder
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Eating disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress

There are many factors impacting the treatment that the person is using like the severity of the symptoms that the patients exhibit, patient preferences of the therapist and treatment, availability of the therapist, and cost-effectiveness.

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) remains the effective and popular therapeutic approach. Studies have shown that psychodynamic therapy is as effective as CBT for many types of conditions. Online therapeutic approaches are also equally good.

How It Works 

Psychodynamic therapy allows people to identify their repressed and difficult emotions and unconscious motivational factors that are impacting their behavior. Some people behave and respond to others in a certain way that they don’t understand why they’re doing it.

The p-therapy helps them to acknowledge and learn their own emotions and feelings that are playing a significant role in their lives. It allows them how they should express their emotions in a healthier way.

Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Therapy 

Now, the question is the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy is relevant to the other types of therapies. If we analyze the efficiency of psychodynamic therapy in the light of present challenges, then studies have shown that it’s an effective treatment for many psychological issues.

It’s difficult to study the complete effectiveness of the therapy because it’s tough to measure some of the behavioral changes. It’s easier to measure and analyze the small changes in the symptoms, and difficult to measure the changes in personality development.

Despite the measuring difficulties and complications, studies have shown that psychodynamic therapy is effective in treating various types of issues.

  • A review study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2017 concluded that the Psychodynamic therapeutic approach is as effective as other forms of treatment. However, the study’s author said that they require more research to find out that who achieved more benefits from this type of approach.
  • Another study has shown that psychodynamic therapy is as effective as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).
  • A review article published by the American Psychologist suggested that much evidence from successful treatments proves the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy.

What You Expect 

If you plan to have psychodynamic therapy, then you would have to meet your therapist a few times within a week or weekly. The duration of every session comprises 45 minutes to one hour, and the therapy would continue for months and years in some cases.

The therapist would encourage you to speak up your mind during the therapeutic session. It could be about past memories, current experiences, or other memories. Brief psychodynamic therapy is its subcategory of treatment that delivers results quickly, roundabout in 30 therapeutic sessions.

In the short treatment, people could focus on any of their emotional areas whatever they like to. The long-term treatment comprises up to 50 therapeutic sessions.

Conclusion: What is Psychodynamic Therapy? Characteristics, Uses 

After an in-depth study of what is psychodynamic therapy, its characteristics, uses, how it works, and effectiveness; we’ve realized that it’s a very effective form of therapy like any other. If you want to use it for treatment of the mental health issues, then keep in mind the abovementioned guidelines.