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Psychodynamic therapy – or psychodynamic counselling as it is also known – is a therapeutic approach that embraces the work of all analytic therapies. Its roots lie predominantly in Freud’s psychoanalysis approach, but Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Otto Rank and Melanie Klein are all widely recognised for further developing the concept and application of psychodynamics.
Like psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy, the aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness – helping individuals to unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. In order to ensure these memories and experiences do not surface, many people will develop defences, such as denial and projections. According to psychodynamic therapy, these defences will often do more harm than good.
Whilst it shares the same core principles of psychoanalysis, psychodynamic counselling is typically far less intensive – focusing primarily on immediate problems and attempting to find a quicker solution. It does however tend to provide the same benefits – helping people with a range of psychological disorders to make significant changes to how they make decisions and interact with others.