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Psychodynamic therapy

My psychologist and I are doing doing combinations of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. Does anyone have any info for me please on Psychodynamic Therapy or link about it?


Re: Psychodynamic therapy

hi @16sundayz my experience of Psychodynamic Therapy is that is focuses alot on your past - childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. It is derived from Freud's theories which focus a lot on early life experience and dynamics between parents and children.


I did not find this approach helpful because raking over the past provided no symptom relief from my mental health symptoms in the present day. It actaully caused spikes in my anxiety having each appointment. But that's just me, I know other people who liked it & I hope you find it helpful. If you like talking about your childhood and parents then I think you will like it. If you Google 'Psychodynamic Theory' you should get the wikipaedia link & lots of others.

Re: Psychodynamic therapy


I did a lot of work with a psychodynamic therapist.

There are a whole different range of them - therapies and therapists, I think the basic idea around it is that it focuses on reactions in the present and then tries to tie it to past events.


I found it helpful. But I think there is a huge variation in how it is practiced and who does it.


For example, where the practitioner has a lot of preconceived ideas about how people's past informs their present, I personally found that can be imposing and compete with genuine insight into individual personal meanings.


The aspect of psychodynamic therapy that I found helpful was when it was practiced without preconception, without pushing, and without structure or a desire to push me to dredge up the past.


The way it worked for me was that my therapist provided me with a very safe and comfortable envioronment where I felt free to say whatever I wanted without prompting or structure - so I could talk about whatever came to mind and not talk about whatever I didn't want to talk about. We mostly started out talking about books because we both liked them.


She would pay attention tune in to my emotions and then simply ask me - "what does that mean to you" or something similar when it made sense to do so in context. I know it sounds staged, but it really wasn't, she was very good at it and it was a real conversation, it didn't feel odd in context. And it really helped me when I was working through some things that were very strange to other people.


Often at first I coudn't answer - I just said 'I don't know' but bit by bit sometimes I could just pause, reflect and an answer would come to me. It wasn't about her imposing freudian theories on me or forcing me to relive past trauma - it was just about offering a safe space and a safe relationship in which to encourage my own reflections while modelling the safety of a mutually respectful relationship.


The short story is that it really, really depends on the practitioner, and the client and their relationship with each other.


Hope that helps. The loose therapy we were following was the "conversational model" by Russell Meares although it was adapted to our individual needs. I bought the manuals so I could "see behind the curtain" and though I liked some aspects of them, I found them really biased towards therapists and against clients. I think that can be a pitfall, because we find it easier to understand people who seem more similar to us. I found that the therapy was ultimately for both me and the theapist as we were both needing to learn new and challenging things about ourselves to get through, but it was really valuable in the end, though as with all things there are risks and benefits.


In the end it became too challenging and I had to stop it because the things that I needed to work through were threatening the worldview of the therapist and she started to get defensive and lash out. It's something people need to be aware of I think when engaging in he so-called 'transferrence based' therapies: they are expected to trigger unpredictable emotions in both therapist and client.


The therapist is supposed to be able to catch themselves in the reaction and understand it, and rely on their supervision to process anything difficult that comes up, but therapists are human beings, with all the flaws and dangers that involves.


I found it helpful and I'm glad I did it, but I would be lying if I didn't say there were some aspects that could be quite unpredictable, particularly for me because some of the past things which needed to be resolved were related harm in care and the harm that labelling and the so-called medical model of distress had done, that could trigger things in any therapist. I understand why not everyone chooses to do it. It did make me a bit annoying for  a while as I was so focussed on past reasons, but that subsided eventually and just became a better connection between the part of me that asked 'what does that mean' and the part that answered.


Hope that helps it's a really personal choice. But I found it really valuable, others have hated it. 

Here's a paper on the 'conversational model'. Its got lots of big words in it that I am pretty sure are made up Smiley Tongue

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