Home > Therapy > Psychoanalytical and Psychodynamic Therapies

Psychoanalytical and Psychodynamic Therapies

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 18 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Psychodynamic Psychoanalytical Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is a broad term that represents therapies with an analytical focus. It operates with the intention of bringing a person's deep emotions and feelings to the surface allowing them to observe, analyze and understand them. This form of therapy focuses on parts of your personality and although it can treat many mental health conditions, it can be helpful for treating depression related to personality aspects or interpersonal relationships, both past and present.

How Long Will Therapy Last?

The length of therapy varies a great deal and may be as often as three times per week for an hour each session, with therapy occurring over many weeks or months. Many clients may find they require therapy for years.

What Does The Therapist Do?

During psychodynamic therapy, a therapist's personality is essentially kept out of the relationship and the therapist acts as a blank canvas upon which the client reflects personal feelings and experiences. The therapist then processes the emotions and content to slowly help the clients deal with the emotional burdens. As such, the therapist facilitates a clearer understanding of a client's problems and adds clarity and support to the issues.

How Effective Is It For Depression?

Psychotherapy is sometimes an initial treatment for depression and can help you to understand some of the issues that may be triggering your depression. These may include:

  • Feelings, experiences and actions that contribute to depression
  • Major life events, such as divorce, job loss or bereavement
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Social isolation

Psychodynamic psychotherapy seeks out sources of depression that may include conflicts with individuals in your life or significant close relationships. These conflicts may relate to parents, other family members, friends or authority figures. Psychodynamic therapy also aims to identify any denial or defensive means you may use to approach your relationships with other people. Many people deny negative patterns of thinking and behaviours but these often come through in their interactions with others; psychodynamic therapy brings these to the surface of your awareness so that you can address them. It provides meaning to often deep rooted conflicts.

How Do I Know If My Depression Can Be Helped?

Psychodynamic therapy usually works best for people who are open to learning more about themselves and are willing to look deep inside to dig up often painful sources of their depression. Psychodynamic therapy may occur in various formats such as:

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Family
  • Marital

It is, however, more often than not performed on a one-to-one basis. If psychodynamic therapy seems appropriate for you, it is worth looking into locally and trying for at least a few sessions. You will need to be very open and honest with your therapist, which can be difficult, but the rewards will hopefully make it worth your while. It can be hard to talk about your feelings but doing so can bring about greater understanding and healing.

As with any form of therapy, there is no guarantee that psychodynamic therapy will work for you. The strength, compassion and experience of the therapist is important but just as important is your willingness to bring those 'hidden' aspects of yourself 'to the table,' so to speak. Also be sure to remember that psychological factors are sometimes only one part of what causes depression and you may still require antidepressant or other medication therapy to address any chemical imbalances in your brain.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sasha
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    Im 8 and half weeks pregnant. I am 38 and have a 9 and 11 year old. This wasnt planed. My husband wants me to get an abortion but…
    26 July 2017
  • Nells
    Re: How to Reduce the Risks of Depression Reoccurring
    I found these article extremely useful.I was able to identify with almost everything. I was also liked…
    21 July 2017
  • Matthew
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    I have just finished writing myself through a prolonged period of mental illness and think that I may have come…
    20 July 2017
  • Anon
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a medical abortion today... I had the intention of keeping my pregnancy but something within me kept tugging on that thought…
    2 July 2017
  • kunjumol
    Re: Driving and Depression
    i am taking medicines for anti depression i am ok but i very nervey and memory level is not good anxiety and ,negativity the qualities…
    28 June 2017
  • less
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had also an abortion ten years ago i got depressed until now because my ex wanted to abort our baby and i am so scared with my…
    26 June 2017
  • debily
    Re: How To Assert Yourself
    Hyy, I'm a student pursuing my B.tech carrier,currently in the final year of it. criticism and comments arouse out of some of my foolish…
    17 June 2017
  • Mrs P
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    Returning To Work After Depression Have had several depressive incidents in the past, both reactive and through…
    9 June 2017
  • Mrs P
    Re: How To Assert Yourself
    Have had several depressive incidents in the past, both reactive and through steroid side effects. In each case, once on meds have…
    9 June 2017
  • Devistated
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a medical abortion 3 weeks ago and the grief, upset, heartbreak is consuming me! I went through with it due to no support,…
    4 June 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the OvercomeDepression website. Please read our Disclaimer.