Psychodynamic Approach to Therapy 

If you’ve been experiencing depression, anxiety, or serious mental health concerns, you may be ready to look for some help. There are so many types of therapy, however, that determining what will be the best fit for you can be complex. PRS Toronto offers some insight into what the different therapeutic specialties mean so that you can find the one that may best suit your needs.  

What is Psychodynamic Therapy?  

Psychodynamic therapy is similar to psychoanalysis in that you and your therapist spend a lot of time talking – it’s actually a form of talk therapy. The biggest difference between the two disciplines is that psychodynamic therapy carefully considers how you relate to your world as well as to your therapist.  

Psychodynamic counselling is often appropriate for those with significant mental health concerns, like:  

  • Deep depression 
  • Serious disconnect from life 
  • Addiction 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Social anxiety disorders.  
  • Repeated interpersonal problems

Psychodynamic therapists work with individuals and families, depending on the situation, and look for how to best help individuals thrive in their world.  

What are the Stages of Psychodynamic Therapy? 

In general, a therapist following a psychodynamic approach will follow three specific stages as part of a treatment plan:  

  • Initiation: During this phase, the patient and the therapist need to get to know one another. Trust must be established so that the patient feels willing to share deep, personal information with the therapist. At the same time, the therapist needs to gain a baseline understanding of the individual; why they are looking for counselling, what factors are influencing their desire for treatment, and so forth.  
  • Middle Stage: This is where the real work of therapy tends to happen. The psychodynamic approach teaches that current behaviour is rooted in the past, so the therapist and the patient will spend time examining how the patient was affected by, and reacted to, past situations, and how that might be influencing their behaviour now. There is sometimes resistance to treatment and to change during this phase, which the therapist needs to help the patient work through.  
  • Termination Phase: Unlike some therapies, psychodynamic therapy teaches that there is a natural end to when someone needs treatment. The patient is experiencing wider options in their life choices and their behaviour is no longer so unconsciously rooted in the past.  

Psychodynamic counselling can be very beneficial for people who are experiencing deep, pervasive difficulties in their life. If you would like to be matched with a psychodynamic counsellor, PRS Toronto can help. All of our therapists have been trained in this modality, so please feel free to browse our directory to find someone who seems to be a good fit for you, and contact them directly.  Alternatively, you can contact PRS for a referral interview, where you will be matched with a therapist.