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If you have tried a number of different therapeutic approaches for depression, anxiety, panic or stress disorders without success, or if you simply want a non-pharmaceutical approach to mental health, then psychodynamic therapy may be right for you.
Psychodynamic Therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, helps you tap into your subconscious to find the underlying cause of emotional problems.
What Makes Psychodynamic Therapy Different?
Conventional psychiatric treatments generally focus on treating primary symptoms, or correcting chemical imbalances with prescription medication.
Through Psychodynamic Therapy you and the clinician explore and discuss all your emotions. Traditional therapy sessions are structured and generally therapist-guided.
Whereas Psychodynamic therapy allows the patient to freely discuss whatever is on their mind.
You may also be surprised to find that a Psychodymanic therapist works to develop a healthy “therapy” relationship with you. This is different than the traditional patient-doctor relationship which is less intimate.
What Is a Typical Psychodynamic Therapy Session Like?
An initial consultation will involve the typical medical forms and background questions. The therapist will also gather general information from you about your current condition. Experts at the Mayo Clinic also recommend you use this time to “interview” your therapist. Ask them questions about their approach and determine if they will be a good match for you.
In follow up sessions, the therapist will work with you to explore different issues you may be dealing with. One main issue Psychodynamic therapists will focus on is avoidance. Avoidances are behaviors that you may exhibit when you simply do not want to deal with difficult problems or situations. At times you may try to avoid distressing thoughts or feelings altogether. Together, you and your therapist will work to determine which emotions you are avoiding and why.
Psychodynamic therapists also work to identify recurring patterns in thoughts, feelings and relationships. This includes exploring past relationships and experiences. The therapist will also encourage you to explore your fantasies. Sessions generally last 45 to 60 minutes and recur weekly.
Has Psychodynamic Therapy Been Scientifically Tested?
A wealth of empirical evidence suggests that it is as effective, and possible even more effective than traditional approaches. A recent analysis by Jonathan Shedler of the University of Colorado showed that Psychodynamic Therapy significantly improves a variety of mental health conditions, and appears to produce positive changes in behaviors that lead to lasting results.
How Is Psychodynamic Therapy Related to Natural Health?
Psychodynamic therapy allows the patient to work through emotional problems without relying on prescription medications. Although it is a medically approved method, it is by nature, a holistic approach. Rather than addressing only superficial problems and present situations, Psychodynamic therapy looks at past experiences and encourages individual growth.
Can I Stop My Meds Once I Start Psychodynamic Therapy?
It is never a good idea to just stop taking prescription medication. Always consult your health care provider before changing your medication regimen. If you would like to discontinue your meds, discuss this with your doctor. They can help you make changes safely.
Make sure you express your interest in Psychodynamic therapy and make them aware of any other experimental or alternative treatments you may be considering.
The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-65-2-shedler.pdf Psych Central: Psychodynamic Therapy – http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/psychodynamic-therapy/ Mayo Clinic – Psychodynamic Therapy – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/psychotherapy/MY00186/DSECTION=what-you-can-expect American Psychology Association: Psychodynamic Therapy Brings Lasting Benefits -http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/01/psychodynamic-therapy.aspx
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