What are Psychodynamic Therapies?

Talk therapy techniques have been used for decades to help patients navigate life’s challenges, and overcome emotional difficulties. Talk therapies can effectively treat a variety of issues, including the symptoms of mental health conditions, and problems involved in substance use disorder. Some of the most popular forms of therapy in modern medicine are CBT and interpersonal therapies. Before these more modern forms of therapy became popular, therapists often relied on psychodynamic therapy tools to assist their patients.

Psychodynamic Therapies

What is psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapies are “global therapies,” in that they focus on the holistic goals, needs, and perceptions of the patient. Most modern therapies like CBT are more focused on specific problems and how to overcome them. Psychodynamic therapies, in contrast, explore the patient’s deep-seated urges and desires. There are significant differences regarding the patient’s goals, and the therapist’s techniques and approaches in psychodynamic therapies versus problem-focused modern therapy methods.

But those aren’t the only most notable differences between psychodynamic therapies and problem-based therapies. Psychodynamic therapies are more focused on the individual patient’s mental and emotional processing patterns, not so much their behaviors. A psychodynamic therapist will try to uncover the patient’s deep-seated patterns in their emotions, beliefs, and thoughts so both the therapist and the patient can gain valuable insight into the patient’s sense of self. In psychodynamic therapies, patients and their therapists often uncover that the patient’s belief systems and emotions stem from childhood experiences, which are incredibly influential in how the patient feels and functions as an adult. A psychodynamic therapist will help the patient figure out how their early childhood experiences have shaped them, and how to rearrange these patterns and thought processes in a way that enables the patient to form a more whole, confident, and functional sense of self.

Who can benefit from this type of therapy?

Psychodynamic therapies are beneficial for people suffering from a range of mental health and personality disorders. Patients who feel isolated, detached, and have a difficult time communicating and making sense of their emotions can benefit from this type of therapy. Psychodynamic therapies can also help people in recovery for substance abuse. In many instances, a substance abuse patient can find that distorted emotions, perceptions, and patterns of thinking and relating to the self can influence the trajectory of drug or alcohol addiction.

What are the statistics or studies on the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapies?

Because psychodynamic therapies are highly individualized, it has taken clinicians a long time to create randomized controlled studies. In recent findings on randomized controlled studies of psychodynamic therapies, researchers have found the treatment to be incredibly useful for patients with anxiety, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, panic attacks, somatoform disorders, and substance use disorder.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder or comorbid mental health condition, there is help available. The experienced therapists at Mission Harbor Behavioral Health have helped hundreds of patients find relief from their symptoms with a variety of therapeutic techniques and treatments. Please contact Mission Harbor today to explore your treatment options.

The facilities at Mission Harbor are staffed with trained experts to best assist patients with their mental health issues. We are capable of dealing with any and all cases with a licensed staff, equipment, and approved techniques. Our mission is to help those who want to help themselves, and we support your decision in seeking help.

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