Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is a therapeutic treatment that primarily focuses on the interpretation of mental and emotional processes. It shares much in common with psychoanalysis and is often considered a simpler, less time consuming alternative. Like psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy seeks to reveal the unconscious content of a client's psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. Psychodynamic therapy increases a client’s self-awareness and grows their understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior. It allows clients to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past experiences and explore how they are manifesting themselves in current behaviors, such as the need and desire to abuse substances. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s psychodynamic therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

My theoretical orientation stems from Psychodynamic Theory, where the purpose is to help you identify the root causes of the problems that make it challenging for you to permanently solve them, not just temporarily solve them, as well as to learn to differentiate, which means to tolerate differences in relationships while staying emotionally connected. This sometimes requires us to revisit our family of origin to gain an understanding of how we got from A to B. My goal as a therapist is to facilitate healthy and satisfying relationships, self understanding, spiritual connection, and the process of reaching your full potential. While this can be an extremely challenging task, I am very driven toward facing this challenge as a marriage and family therapist.

— Kathy Hardie-Williams, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Tigard, OR

"Psychodynamic" means our minds and ways of being are changeable. But only if we can talk about that which frightens us or causes us pain. Humans have a natural tendency to disconnect our awareness from that which is too painful. Therapy is a process of naming the un-nameable in the presence of another. Only through this can we shift the foundations of the lives we are building to become solid and sturdy, and make choices based on our realities rather than our fears or fantasies.

— Christine Hutchison, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Trained in Psychodynamic Therapy in graduate school as basis for working with clients. Therapist helps client to recognize and change their patterns of thoughts and beliefs. Therapist also helps client by noticing dynamics between client and counselor.

— Mike Krepick, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

My approach is here-and-now while paying close attention to familiar or similar unresolved dynamics that may be relevant for you from your past that could be influencing your perceptions of today. These are often unconscious dynamics and in our work, together we will unearth what is true for you.

— Shohreh Schmuecker, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Danville, CA

I provide psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focusing on conscious and unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person's present behavior. In addition, I incorporate into the work Trauma informed and Somatic modalities, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

— Nadia Thalji, Ph.D, Psychotherapist in San Francisco, CA

My approach is informed by contemporary psychodynamic theory and practice and trauma/attachment research. All is considered through a strength-based lens. The goals of psychodynamic counseling are to increase self-awareness and understanding of how the past influences your present behavior.

— Shannon Gonter, Counselor in Louisville, KY

Psychodynamic theory is what you may think of when you imagine "talk therapy." It is a rich and nuanced exploration of who you are and the forces that shaped you. The psychodnymic aspects of our work help bring to light your unspoken, and perhaps unrecognized, assumptions about yourself and the world around you so you can decide if they serve your life now and the life you want going forward.

— Dawn Johnson, Psychologist in Washington, DC

I will help you seek to understand the intersections of your history and your current patterns through the use of our therapeutic relationship. Join me in a safe space to process, understand and work through your pain.

— Stephanie Borer, Psychotherapist in Decatur, GA

I am a Jungian-oriented Psychoanalyst who focuses on unconscious dreams, symbols and myths to help you find your own unique path toward healing. The experience is dynamic in that we both inform the process and we both have the capacity to experience change in the interpersonal work we encounter together.

— Holly Vollink-Lent, Psychoanalyst in Rochester, NY

My approach is here-and-now while paying close attention to familiar or similar unresolved dynamics that may be relevant for you from your past that could be influencing your perceptions of today. These are often unconscious dynamics and in our work, together we will unearth what is true for you.

— Shohreh Schmuecker, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Danville, CA

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unconscious processes as they influence a person’s behavior. Often those processes are defense mechanisms that developed in childhood and which were useful in protecting the child, but in adulthood are in the way. The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to increase awareness of those processes so that they become choiceful rather than automatic. Thus, people become more mature. And, of course, freedom to choose helps to move us toward fulfillment and happiness.

— Michael Johnson, Psychologist in AUSTIN, TX, TX

I was trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy at Smith College School for Social Work, which is a highly regarded institution for this particular type of therapy. Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps a person delve into their subconscious to explore sources of tension and discomfort, with the goal of increasing self-awareness and insight in order to alleviate discomfort.

— Caitlyn Dunham, Clinical Social Worker in Auburn, MA

In my work with families, I use a psychodynamic orientation, which strives to understand the “why” behind the behavior. This involves bringing unconscious thoughts, feelings and memories to the surface in order to understand how they might be influencing current behavior. It is very common for parents, for example, to be unaware of how their own unmet childhood needs may be influencing their current role as a parent. In addition, it is equally important to seek understanding behind the misbehavior of children, in order to better meet their needs. Understanding alone, however, does not create behavior change. Yet, change is more likely to occur and be sustained when there is insight.

— S. Abigail McCarrel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arcadia, CA

I offer a short-term, evidence-based, and contemporary form of psychoanalysis called intensive psychodynamic therapy, which has been found effective in helping people improve their relationships, learn to cope with difficult feelings, and manage their anxiety. I also deliver it in short-term (12-20 sessions) and longer term (>1 year) forms. A benefit for some people is that compared to CBT, this form of treatment does not require formal homework. Homework, however, can be added as an adjunct, and in some cases leads to a more effective treatment.

— Daniel Gaztambide, Psychologist in New York, NY

I trained under therapists who specialized in psychodynamic theory and found that it was one that really resonated with me. While I do believe that an integrated approach is best, as not every approach works with each person, I have found that Psychodynamic most closely aligns with me.

— Kat Nazaroff, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Houston, TX

Psychodynamic theories explore how we all interact with ourselves and other people, and how our relationships can inform how we perceive ourselves and others. Through exploring our wants, needs, and histories in relationship, we can work towards shifting and addressing how our wants and needs show up. These theories still hold value, and are also often rooted in oppression. As I explore them I use a critical lens to re-define relationships and identities without judgment and bias.

— Rachel Robbins, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

Talk therapy is the bulk of what we'll do in the session. Expect your therapist to be a little more dynamic, challenge you, help you see other points of view different from your lenses, and give feedback on how you present yourself in session.

— Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove, PsyD, Psychologist in Tampa, FL

Rooted in Freudian psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy is informed by the belief that the client has the ability to heal their own suffering. Therapy is simply a vehicle to speed up this process by bringing awareness to root causes in an intentional way. Some of the ways I do this are by paying attention to wishes, fantasies, dreams and strategies for coping with distress. I invite all parts of you into this process, including the parts you may dislike the most.

— Stefanie Landau, Psychologist in Somerville, MA

In our quests for gratifying work and satisfying relationships, we develop patterns (shouting when we feel mad, sobbing when we feel sad). Some grooves we get into work for us, while others do not. Yet changing our patterns is hard, as they are motivated by beliefs, emotions, behaviors, conflicts, and fantasies we keep out of our conscious awareness. Therapy creates a space of dialogue to rework your own development and try out new patterns.

— Gregory Kaplan, Clinical Trainee in Katy, TX

My supervision at Core Psychotherapy focused on psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy. I work with defenses, transference, and countertransference to help uncover relational patterns that may have been helpful in the past, but are no longer.

— Ian Felton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

Insight can be a powerful conduit for gaining self-awareness of more unconscious, hidden parts of the self. Although behavior in and of itself can be an effective focus on therapy; it is not the only focus.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lynchburg, VA

We are all shaped by our early exposures, and we adapt to our environment to survive as infants and children. Some of these forces are invisible, or impossible to recall, but they influence how we handle adult situations and relationships. Understanding these influences and challenging them so that we can understand out adult world view more fully is the goal of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Understanding leads to change.

— Andrea Rogers, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

In a safe non judgmental place, we will look at our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and our experiences and examine how we relate to other people. Looking at how we relate with other people and the patterns that we fall into with our relationships, helps us see who we are and what we may want to change in ourselves and in our relationships to build better connections.

— Heather Zuckerman, Counselor in Garrison, NY

Psychodynamic therapy has many roots in psychoanalysis. My education was psychodynamic-focused, meaning I learned from many different theories and approaches to therapy. I pay close attention to what is happening in your conscious world, and listen for what may be going on unconsciously. Psychodynamic therapy is primarily conversational in nature, and doesn't involve homework or tools, though those things may be suggested from time to time.

— Erin Pierson, Counselor in Seattle, WA