Psychodynamic Therapy for Mental Health Issues

We all have past experiences that have an impact on our behaviors and feelings now. These experiences may seem harmless and insignificant but they actually shape our personality and our choices as an adult.

When everything becomes too heavy and exhausting, people often become swayed to develop mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Psychodynamic therapy is an advanced form of treatment that deals with your unresolved feelings that possibly are the root cause of your present condition.

What is psychodynamic therapy?

According to the American Psychological Association, psychodynamic therapy “focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. Its hallmarks are self-reflection and self-examination, and the use of the relationship between therapist and patient as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient’s life.”

In addition, the National Center for Biotechnology Information defines it as an approach that “focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in the client’s present behavior. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are client self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior. In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances”.

To put it simply, psychodynamic therapy is a form of talk therapy where you openly discuss your deepest desires and profound feelings to a professional therapist. It is facing and verbalizing your problems and eventually learning and understanding why you act, behave and feel that way.

Where can you use psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy is conceived to treat mental health issues without relying so much on medications. Some people prefer undergoing treatments through therapies rather than taking prescription drugs.

It is popularly used to treat:


social anxiety, phobia and panic disorder

borderline personality disorder

psychopathological issues in children and adolescents

physical symptoms without physical basis

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

loneliness/ social withdrawal

Is psychodynamic therapy effective?

Psychodynamic therapy was once perceived as the least effective therapy in treating depression and anxiety. It was only in 2010, where a study concluded that it is as effective as other evidence-based therapies and its benefits are more lasting.

It focuses on exploring and understanding emotions.

In psychodynamic therapy, therapists near me encourage and guide their patients to clearly see and describe what their present problems are. They lead them to unearth their feelings and thoughts based on their past experiences and beliefs.

It helps in recognizing patterns.

Finding recurring patterns and themes is one way of analyzing your behaviors towards stress-related situations. Through this, you will be more aware of the way you deal with problems. You begin to understand not just your feelings but also your actions and interactions with other people.

It examines your past experiences.

Your past experiences affect your present self in terms of lifestyle, decision-making, judgments, actions, emotions and words. It is safe to say that what you are now is a result of how you were raised and the kind of environment you grew up in. Discussing your past will help guide your therapists near me on how to go about with your treatment. It will also be their tool in assessing your personality.

It improves your relationship with others.

Understanding your emotions and behavior permits you to develop sympathy and compassion towards yourself and others. You also become more passionate and tolerant with their behavior. Some therapists use the doctor-patient relationship as a basis on how you generally interact with people. Many believe that psychological issues arise due to the inability of a person to socialize and deal with others.

It expands your emotional understanding.

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on better understanding of feelings and thoughts as well as improving relationships with others. Most times, these are the things that you avoid talking about because you do not want to open old wounds. However, being able to discuss these freely means that you have become more mature and trusting.

It enriches your knowledge of self.

The reason why you think and act negatively about something is because of some bad experiences. When you know yourself well you know that in every action and decision you make, you are accountable. Also, it drives you to be braver and bolder in facing your emotions.

What are the types of psychodynamic therapy?

For many people, talking about their problems without the fear of being judged and criticized is a way of validation. It empowers them to speak about their deepest emotions. Psychodynamic therapy comes in different forms to provide an environment for you to speak about yourself confidently.

Group Psychodynamic Therapy

This type of psychodynamic therapy is composed of individuals struggling with similar problems. The therapists near me monitor the group and everyone should willingly share their life stories.

Individual Psychodynamic Therapy

This is one-on-one therapy with a trusted therapist. This kind of session works best for those who are suffering from PTSD, traumas or abuse.

Family Psychodynamic Therapy

The therapists have one-on-one conversation with each family member and then have group sessions with all to further discuss the problems. This form of therapy can help heal individuals that deal with death of a loved one, divorce or any significant events that leave an impact on the family.

Improvisational Psychodynamic Music Therapy

This is a new approach to psychodynamic therapy. Instead of just plainly talking and sharing, music serves as a way to connect and understand yourself. The therapist near me is well trained in using music as a medium of treatment. 

Art Therapy

This therapy trains individuals to freely express all their thoughts and emotions through art. This therapy centers on the individual’s creative side.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is for children who need to learn how to manage their psychological issues. Most times, therapists near me indirectly monitored and supervised the children. 

If you want to know more and experience the benefits of psychodynamic therapy, visit Mindshift Psychological Services. Start taking the first step to a better self and positive life. Schedule an appointment with us through our website or contact us at (714)584-9700. Other therapy and counseling sessions are offered as well.