What is Intensive short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)?
Intensive short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) aims for a permanent character transformation of psychologically-ill patients in less than 40 hours, through intense and focused therapeutic techniques. The idea of this approach is to get to the heart of the matter rather than wasting time talking around the problems.
In order to cope with anxiety, human beings use defence mechanisms to ward off underlying painful feelings. People generally turn to therapy because the usual defences are no longer effective. So, ISTDP therapists encourage patients to address the historical roots of their difficulty, the life events that activated said defences. The goal is to uncover repressed emotions. The therapist works actively to identify defences that prevent the patient’s direct access to feelings. Dr. Jon Frederickson explains: “As long as patients talk freely about their feelings, we listen carefully. But, when patients use defences to avoid feeling, we interrupt their defences so they can experience their feelings instead”.
The underlying theory of the ISTDP approach is very similar to that of the PPD approach. The fundamental understanding of ISTDP is that when individuals experience emotional disturbances or trauma the event may result in wide array of emotions that the individual may not be able to adequately handle. This results in these unwanted emotions becoming repressed and avoided.
How can ISTDP help?
How can get Intensive short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy in London?