Psychodynamic Psychotherapy :: What The Heck Is It?

You’ve decided to finally get some help for the parts of your life that feels messy, but now you’re really confused as you sift through the many pages of available therapists on sites such as Psychology Today. Smiling therapists offering so many different paths to help and healing and some techniques have really strange names, like, “psychodynamic psychotherapy.” Sounds a bit scary, and clinical and even sterile, but it’s actually a really helpful treatment option for some problems. I’ll explain briefly.

A therapist practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalytic psychotherapy means that they do work that helps you understand yourself deeply. The goal is insight and self-awareness into why you do what you do, or keep repeating patterns and dynamics that interfere with having the life that you desire.It involves a bit of deep digging to unearth these behavior patterns but so worth it. Because much of what we do is unconscious, we live in a way that leads to habitual patterns and repetition. The fancy word for this is “repetition compulsion” which is a neurotic style that we engage in. This may eventually lead to frustration and certainly a lack of agency of your life. In psychodynamic therapy, you will begin to notice these patterns and behaviors that are driving you so that you can grow and live your life in a way that is intentional and conscious, not driven by the voices of the past, the many messages that you have internalized along the way. We are complex, and often, the many parts of us operate in unintegrated ways, sabotaging our growth and goals. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy helps to make the unconscious conscious which leads to a healthier and more integrated personality. You will begin to know why you do what you do and how to change course. You will also become more comfortable with conflicts and the darker parts of your nature. It takes a lot of psychic energy to deny and hide these things from yourself. It’s not easy or particularly fast, but it may help you from marrying a woman just like your mother for the third time.