Several of our Therapists that are seeing clients in person have now been vaccinated. In addition to offering in person appointments we are also seeing clients for online sessions via video call.
by Dr. Becky Spelman on 11/08/2014

What is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy rests on the understanding that conflicts, stress and tension that are experienced subconsciously, or at least partly subconsciously, can result in problems at a conscious level that can hold people back from success across a range of areas. It also assumes that if you can become more self-aware and understand how the past continues to impact on you today, you will be better able to manage your own feelings and behaviour because you will understand the origins of the conflicts you experience, and will, therefore, be in a better position to change how you respond to them.

The conflicts explored often relate to experiences, or dysfunctional relationships in early childhood—perhaps very early childhood—that you might not have even thought about on a conscious level for years, or that possibly you do not even retain a conscious memory of at all. You may have built defences to deal with a difficult situation then; your situation has changed but the defences remain and, instead of protecting you, they are causing real problems in your everyday life. Perhaps you are unwittingly trying to recreate relationships that were problematic for you as a child or attempting to deal with a source of stress using an approach that is no longer appropriate. Now, as then, these relationships are not making you happy, but you seem unable to break out of a rut. By figuring out what is going on in the depths of your mind, and resolving the areas that are problematic, you can address the issues that are causing stress and make the changes that are necessary to achieve happiness and positive growth in your life as you go forward.

What are the techniques used in Psychodynamic therapy?

Techniques that Psychodynamic Therapists use, together with their clients, to achieve their goals include free association, the interpretation of dreams, exploring painful memories, and developing a positive relationship between Therapist and patient. In fact, this form of psychotherapy rests on the premise that positive growth cannot take place at all in the absence of a positive relationship of this sort.

In conversation with your Therapist, exploring your deepest thoughts and fears can be stressful and hard, but in the process, people often find that they form a close therapeutic relationship, and can make real progress relatively quickly.In this respect, this therapeutic modality differs from the more traditional approach to psychotherapy, which takes a long-term approach.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy can be offered to individuals, groups, and families, and is particularly helpful in areas including personality disorders and with problems such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. Unlike traditional psychoanalysis, which involves a considerable investment of time and emotional energy, sessions are paced at a rate of one a week or so, so that you can make progress with your therapy in a way that is not incompatible with work and family commitments.

How do I get Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in London?

If you would like to talk to someone about Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: +4402038820684 or by email to:


Leichsenring, F. (2003, 12). The Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the Treatment of Personality Disorders: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(7), 1223-1232

McKay D (2011). “Methods and mechanisms in the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy”. The American Psychologist. 66 (2): 147–8, discussion 152–4.

Shedler J (2010). “The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy”. The American Psychologist. 65 (2): 98–109.


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