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Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Therapies

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“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways”, Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis.

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What is psychoanalytic therapy?

Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies are based on the theories of Sigmund Freud, widely considered the “Father” of modern psychology. Freud believed that childhood experiences have an influence on the way we think and behave as adults. For this reason, both approaches are considered in-depth therapies that look to explore past experiences and repressed emotions as a way of understanding who you are today.

What is the psychoanalytic approach?

Traditionally, psychoanalytic therapy sessions were set up so that you’re sitting or lying down on a couch facing away from your therapist. This is to remove the need to make eye contact or engage socially with your therapist so that you feel comfortable to completely relax. Whilst most therapists no longer use this setup, it represents the heart of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies - that of talking freely and openly about whatever comes to mind (Free Association).

Your session

During your sessions, your therapist will encourage you to voice whatever you’re thinking about, no matter how strange or unimportant you think it is. The session will follow on from there, with your therapist prompting you along the way, pausing to comment on things they believe might hold a deeper significance.

How long does psychoanalysis take?

Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies focus on delving deeper into the past to explore the whys and hows of your behaviour, rather than just looking at your symptoms. This means that neither should be considered a “quick fix”. Both require a commitment of time so that you feel comfortable enough to open up and explore past experiences you might have long forgotten. Because of this, sessions tend to happen frequently (at least once a week) and will normally be carried out over a longer period of time - with some psychoanalytic therapies happening over many months, and sometimes even years.

Who can benefit from psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies?

Whilst anyone can benefit from a more in-depth approach to therapy, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies are especially suited to those looking to resolve issues from their past.

Focusing on personality rather than addressing a specific set of symptoms, these therapies can help you explore some of the reasons behind particular characteristics or any recurring difficulties you’re experiencing in life. For example, coming up against the same problems in your relationships, or more generalised concerns like experiencing a lack of fulfilment or simply hoping to further your own personal development.

Finding a psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapist near me

Whatever you're struggling with, we have a range of accredited psychoanalytic and psychodyanmic therapists that can help. Speak to one of our team to get help to find a therapist today.

Types of Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Therapies

Psychosynthesis therapy

Similar to psychoanalysis, psychosynthesis works to heal past childhood trauma. But psychosynthesis therapy also explores the spiritual as well as the psychological, helping you explore the deeper layers of self.

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Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is based on the psychoanalytic framework. Psychodynamic therapy also emphasises the importance of exploring childhood memories and emotions as a means of uncovering the root cause of issues. However, psychodynamic is normally shorter-term, working towards a faster solution.

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Jungian therapy

Jungian therapy is an in-depth form of therapy. Jungian therapy will help you develop a deeper sense of 'self' and find your own unique life path, alongside working to unearth blocked emotions which are holding you back from reaching your potential.

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Psychoanalytic therapy

Psychoanalytic therapy is centred on the belief that repressed childhood experiences impact the present. By exploring your past, psychoanalytic therapy focuses on uncovering the source of your problems, rather than simply treating surface-level symptoms.

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