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Psychodynamic psychotherapy draws its inspiration from the psychoanalytic and group analytic traditions. However, it also takes account of insights derived from some of the humanistic traditions. Its principles are based on the belief that a person’s difficulties often arise as a response to difficult situations that one has had to cope with in one’s childhood as well as in adulthood.
These can lead to unhelpful habituated beliefs ('I am no good' or 'people dont like me much' or 'I am unattractive', and so on) and symptoms ('I get very anxious when I speak to my boss' or 'When I start getting into an intimate relationship I start to feel trapped' or 'I never seem able to complete things', and so on). These beliefs and symptoms were probably useful at one time, as a means of survivng and managing the earier difficulties.
But now, these self same ‘solutions’ make it more difficult to live a more fulfilled life in the present.
What kind of therapy do you provide?
How does therapy work?
We offer a psychodynamic, talking therapy. The kind of conversation that takes place in therapy is a very unlike the kind of conversation you have with your friends over a cup of coffee.
For one thing, the conversation is entirely about you and led by whatever is preoccupying you at that time. The therapy will provide you with a safe space in which you will be able to give voice - perhaps for the very first time - to the things that trouble you. Psychodynamic means that the therapy is holistic. Together with your therapist, you will find yourself reflecting on all aspects of your life: your childhood, your relationships past and present, your dreams and desires, your terrors and fears, your body and your spirit.
Through these meandering conversations and interactions with your therapist, you will come to know more about yourself and to understand yourself better. Through developing a greater understanding, self-knowledge and a growing acceptance of your self, change becomes more possible.
This will ultimately give you the possibility of living a more fulfilling and fulfilled life. That after all, is the aim of therapy.
How long will it take?
If what you want to do, is to work in a focussed way through a particular issue - say a decision you are struggling with, or a crisis of some kind - then, typically, you might think of the therapy lasting some months. But if the issues you are struggling with are deeper and more entrenched, then your therapy is likely to be ongoing and open-ended, with a frequency of one to three times a week. All of this is decided in collaboration with you in the early sessions.
Will I need to be in individual one-to-one therapy or group?
Depending on the issues you come with, a particular form of therapy - individual, couple, group or family - will be more suitable for you.
Which it is to be, will be decided with you, at the first meeting.