Psychodynamic therapy is a manifestation of depth psychology, which is also known as insight-oriented therapy. Psychodynamic therapy involves the examination of an individual’s behavior by a professional therapist in light of the unconscious processes in his personality.

Psychoanalytic theory is the basis of modern psychodynamic therapy. The goals of a psychodynamic theory are the understanding of the interaction of conscious and unconscious forces, will urge, and hopes for the client’s personality.

What Psychodynamic Therapy Is

According to the SAMHSA, It is the psychological interpretation of the client’s behavior, actions, and emotions through the examination of a person’s unconscious elements and processes.

The goals of psychodynamic therapy include one’s self-recognition, awareness of mind and soul, and explaining the present behavioral traits based on past events. Most of the approaches of the treatment have roots in psychoanalytic theory and have sufficient clinical evidence for the treatment of several psychological conditions.

Concepts Of Psychodynamic Therapy

In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud laid the foundation of the psychodynamic approach and became the pioneer of psychoanalysis. The Psychodynamic school of thought still exists today in a modified and updated form. After decades of research and psychological analysis of cases, contemporary psychodynamic therapy proposes that the human mind and personality is a complex entity and has the following elements:

The ID

The id is an entirely unconscious element of an individual’s personality that is present with the birth of the person. It represents instincts and primitive behaviors primarily driven by the pleasure principle. All the urges, needs, and the haste to satisfy a desire have origins in the id. Not only this but if the individual does not strive to fulfill them immediately, they can result in stress and anxiety.

Girl With Mental Disorder

These fundamental needs are somewhat useful in the early stages of life like hunger, pain, and other basic needs of an infant. In other words, the infant’s and even young children’s entire personality consists of their id. But as the person grows older, it is not feasible to fulfill these desires immediately. Psychodynamic therapy interventions are aimed at defining and confronting those needs.

The Ego

The ego is a component of the personality that is driven by reality. It is the element that is responsible for shaping the animalistic desires of the human unconscious in a way that is more acceptable in the real world.

The ego is the mediator between the id and the superego. The ego is somewhat the real actions of a person and its correct, realistic approach that it considers to be satisfying as well as acceptable to others. The specialist conducts ego analysis through the use of the psychodynamic play therapy technique.

The Superego

The superego is a moral compass, a sense of right and wrong. It is also a powerful component of human personality. This component usually starts to develop when a child is five or six years old and keeps evolving until he or she is an adult.

Superego works against the id and rejects all the irrational urges of our subconscious mind. It is the component that keeps the humans civil and forces them to conform to societal norms and acceptable behaviors.

ASHW specialist works with these entities and explore their interaction with each other in the client’s personality and try to find the reasons (and cure) of behavioral anomalies and disputes. These are the advantages of psychodynamic therapy.

Types Of Psychodynamic Therapies

Some of the most effective and result oriented psychodynamic therapy techniques include:

Brief Psychodynamic Therapy

A brief or time-limited treatment plan has narrowed, precise focus on the client’s major issues. It allows for rapid and precise identification of the underlying causes of a problem. During the initial meeting, the client and therapist are setting up the treatment goals. After that, the treatment course revolves around the interpretation of causes and correction of the problematic personality traits.
The number of sessions may vary depending on the nature of the disorder or as the therapist suggested. However, time-limited psychodynamic therapy can include no more than 25 sessions.

Individual Therapy Session

Psychodynamic Family Therapy

Another example of psychodynamic therapy is the addition of improvised music and acoustic sounds during the session to associate the unconscious processes with the person’s behavior and personality traits. It is a new and creative form of treatment. Music can be a beneficial medium to generate responses and promote the association of the patient’s disorder with the past. Such an approach involves the use of songs, musical sounds, lyrics discussion, and even musical instrument playing.

Psychodynamic Therapy And Substance Abuse

Alabama Sober Way Home utilizes modern psychodynamic therapies that are sometimes supplemented with medications and other treatments, as well. Interpersonal psychodynamic therapy is one of the oldest and most effective forms of psychoanalysis that is highly structured and limited time in nature. ASWH utilizes both long-term and short-term psychodynamic therapies in the treatment of alcoholism, drug abuse, and nicotine addiction. The long term therapies may extend to over two years while the short term one can last up to a few weeks.

Specialists at ASWH have found that long-term treatment sessions are adequate for sophisticated, deep-rooted emotional issues, obsessions, phobias, and relationship problems. Short term psychodynamic therapies, on the other hand, can be useful for the treatment of tobacco cravings, hallucinogen dependence, drug addiction, alcoholism, and chronic debilitating diseases.

Our specialists practice a combination of different psychodynamic therapy techniques. They use the following systematic process:

  • Free association method
  • Therapeutic transference
  • Interpretative analysis

Role Of A Therapist

Psychodynamic interpersonal therapy can only be successful if both the therapist and client are focused on the main goal and objective of every single session. The active participation of the therapist and their relationship with the client is critical for the triumph of the treatment.

Our experienced specialists can pinpoint the nature of the behavioral and psychological issues. In most cases, initial interaction with the therapist is enough to decide if a person needs a time-limited psychodynamic therapy course or not.

Psychotherapy One On One

Specialists at ASWH fully understand the sensitivity of psychodynamic therapy interventions. Analysis of the client’s comfort and feelings is an integral part of the treatment process as it allows to change the pace of the treatment accordingly.

It is the responsibility of the therapist to set the boundaries, goals, and objectives of the therapy. Only skilled medical professionals can develop a conducive and comfortable environment for appropriate client-therapist interaction. ASWH’s staff has the appropriate psychodynamic therapy training and the necessary experience that can ensure the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy.

When to See a Psychodynamic Therapist

If you or your loved ones are struggling with substance abuse, don’t hesitate to contact our representatives. ASWH has a licensed and experienced psychotherapist, with professional training in psychoanalysis. We also offer various rehab programs for in-patients and out-patient treatment options that include intensive drug rehab programs, gender-specific treatment, psychological health advice, motivational interviewing, and specialized psychodynamic psychotherapy.

  1. SAMSHA.Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse. Treatment Improvement Protocol. 34 (2012).