Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the oldest form of modern psychology, based on a complex theory of human interaction and development. It is referred to as depth psychology, meaning that the work is focused on exploring the unconscious and discovering underlying motives for present behavior in order to bring about insight and self-awareness.
The interpersonal relationship between the therapist and client is highly developed and central to helping the client understand and work through the early wounds and unresolved conflicts of childhood. Together the therapist and client uncover and explore the underlying maladaptive behaviors that may be causing difficulties in the present with current relationships. Over time, the client is able to reorganize relational patterns and develop a greater emotional capacity to engage and relate in healthy ways to others and life situations.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy can be difficult, yet greatly beneficial work and is typically done over the long term, lasting months or even years. It is conducted once or even twice a week, as multiple sessions can enhance the client’s ability to go deeper into the mind.