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

With my psychodynamic background, I am able to help my clients understand their relational patterns from a historic perspective, identify their origins in early childhood experiences, see them as survival strategies to manage the relationships they had at the time, and to identify how they want to relate to people in their lives moving forward.

— Charles Thompson-Shealy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Kingston, NY
 

I believe in the importance of how we were brought up including the circumstances of our family in the broader social context as an important influence in how we are in our current lives. When I was in training in the 1970's this was the standard treatment approach.

— Karin Wandrei, Clinical Social Worker in Rohnert Park, CA

I have an attachment-based way of working. This means that I believe that most of the unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that we have, began when we were very young. We developed these ways of being in order to cope with whatever we perceived as difficult in our young lives, and it worked! But now we are adults and the old ways have kept us stuck in our relationships and our feelings. We work in therapy to unpack those old ideas and feelings, and find ways to change them so that they work for you in your life the way it is today.

— Amy McManus, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Marina del Rey, CA
 

As clinical fellow at Ann Martin Center for two years, I was immersed in an environment that focused on psychodynamically based treatment of children, adolescents, young adults, and parents. This approach was emphasized in supervision and in an intensive series of seminars.

— Jennifer Trinkle, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

I received my post-grad training at a Psychoanalytic non-profit institute in North Hollywood that focused on attachment theory, object relations and other depth psychology constructs. I believe our childhood attachment styles and relational patterns affect our present psyches and I work with clients to explore areas of their conscious and unconscious experiences through memories, dreams, and reflections.

— Christy Merriner, Therapist in West Hollywood, CA

I was trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the University of Chicago. Psychodynamic therapy, combined with other approaches, such as energy therapy techniques can be very effective in treating a number of conditions. That said, I don't get stuck on one or two approaches. That would be like a medical doctor who only prescibes penicillin. A good therapist needs a lot of tools in his or her toolbox.

— Stephen Finstein, Therapist in Dallas, TX
 

I am psychodynamically trained and attended Smith College School for Social Worker for my Masters in Social Work. I view all of my work through an attachment lens and am relational in style; I encourage my clients to explore the impact of their own early caregiving or traumatic experiences on their parenting style and to look at ways in which re-enactments come up in their lives or in therapy with me.

— Samantha Pugh, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lafayette, CO

The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to assist clients understand how past events in their childhood are affecting their adult lives, by shaping their personality. Through the therapy process I expose clients to different aspects of their lives, especially how they attract/interact with others, and how this impacts and generates spikes of anxiety in their lives. Problems like depression, anxiety, anger and social isolation can all be successfully treated and improved using psychodynamic therapy.

— Filippo M. Forni, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

In short, psychodynamic therapy is a modern version of psychoanalysis. The therapist serves less like a "blank screen" but more as a real person that can relate to you. With this approach, you will be supported to express current emotions as well as earlier important life events. Through exploration, you may start to see how past unresolved internal conflicts affect your present life. These insights are likely to greatly inform your personal growth, and I will be your witness and cheerleader.

— Yiwen Fan, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

I participate in weekly psychodynamic supervision and didactic trainings

— Chelsea Small, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

My foundation of therapy training is psychodynamic and attachment based. I can work with CBT and other tools, but I prefer to help clients gain a deep understanding of the mechanism of their own ego and psyche. I teach clients about the impact of unconscious and preconscious aspects of the mind, ego defenses and insight into the workings of their own ego which is based on "want/don't want", or as the Buddhists might put it "desire and aversion". Ego strength is foundational in healing trauma.

— Susan Pease Banitt, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR
 

In psychodynamic therapy, early relationships have a profound impact on how we relate to others and ourselves. Until the destructive patterns of the past are discerningly remembered and emotionally re-experienced to be put into a new perspective, patients will continue to repeat such patterns. As they are recognized, patients can understand the ways in which they avoid distress and utilize defense mechanisms to cope. The therapeutic process is about learning to engage with the truth about who we are and developing a deeper understanding about our flaws, vulnerabilities, and conflicts. The main focus of therapy is to express feelings while also learning to tolerate a wider range of emotions. Ultimately, this helps increase self-esteem and confidence.

— Sweta Venkataramanan, Counselor in New York, NY

My personal therapy has been psychodynamic and I have practiced in this way for over 25 years. I believe the therapeutic relationship is the catalyst for change and is a container for other relationships to flourish and grow.

— Lisa Knudson, Counselor in Asheville, NC
 

Psychodynamic Therapy involves getting to the root of problem(s), underlying problematic emotional and behavioral patterns; and discover paths toward the emotional freedom necessary to make substantive lasting changes in your life, and heal from past traumas. In examining what lies beneath the surface of human behavior, the unconscious psychological forces within us outside of everyday awareness become conscious. It operates at the exploratory-supportive continuum of interventions.

— Dr. Shawna Freshwater, Clinical Psychologist in Miami Beach, FL

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
 

I was trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the University of Chicago. Psychodynamic therapy, combined with other approaches, such as energy therapy techniques can be very effective in treating a number of conditions. That said, I don't get stuck on one or two approaches. That would be like a medical doctor who only prescibes penicillin. A good therapist needs a lot of tools in his or her toolbox.

— Stephen Finstein, Therapist in Dallas, TX