What is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy & Counselling?
Psychotherapy based on psychodynamic principles makes use of the idea that how you behave now is determined by past experiences. Psychodynamic practice aims to help you make sense of your existing situation and of the feelings and thoughts and associated memories that are brought about by this situation. In psychodynamic counselling, these feelings, thoughts, images and even dreams can be analysed to gain deeper understanding of how you relate to yourself and to others.
What does Psychodynamic Therapy/Counselling look like in practice?
Psychodynamic counselling employs strict boundaries with regards to session time-keeping, setting a therapeutic contract, breaks and endings. Such boundaries help to contain and hold the client. A psychodynamic counsellor usually keeps to the rule of abstinence and anonymity, so that the client knows little about the therapist. This can help show up transference reactions which can highlight important information about the client’s past experiences.
Psychodynamic counsellors work with ‘transference’ which is the process that occurs in therapy when the client responds to the counsellor as if to a significant other person from the client’s past. Transference allows the counsellor to learn more about the client’s developmental course from child to adult. Transference in the therapeutic relationship can be positive or negative. Positive transference may including feelings of care or concern for the other. Negative transference may involve feelings of dislike, loathing or mistrust. Psychodynamic therapists may also work with ‘counter transference’ which is the counsellor’s reactions towards the client.
What issues are suited for Psychodynamic Therapy & Counselling?
Psychodynamic psychotherapy and counselling has wide application. It can help with anxiety, stress in the work place, work-life imbalances, relationship issues (break-up, divorce, affairs, choosing inappropriate partners, loneliness, life adjustments, marital problems, arguments, jealousy, wedding and premarital counselling), trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating problems and negative body image, depression (including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal), phobias and fears, addiction, low self-esteem and confidence, abuse (including verbal and sexual abuse), bereavement, grief and loss.
Further reading on Psychodynamic Counselling
- Jacobs, Michael (2004) – Psychodynamic Counselling in Action (3rd Edition)
Psychodynamic Counselling at Harley Therapy™ London
We have a number of therapists dedicated to the study and practice of psychodynamic therapy which they have seen help positively influence the lives of many clients. They offer their services to help you reach the transformation you are seeking. Call us to find out more or book online below to get started.