Counselling therapies that fall under the analytic umbrella are identified as being psychodynamic. Most of these approaches adhere to the works of Sigmund Freud, although the teachings of other psychotherapy leaders may also be used.
Observation PointPsychodynamic therapy focuses on the client in a powerful, direct way. The counsellor’s own personality remains a blank canvas as they encourage and support a client to express their emotions, thoughts and feelings in an open manner. The counsellor will observe and digest the information the client provides, and will then work on guiding the client to make progressive positive steps towards making changes.
Root of the ProblemThe roots of psychodynamic counselling are firmly embedded in the belief that our childhood experiences, and unacceptable thoughts, have created our current behaviour patterns and negative thinking. This is because we have allowed certain thoughts to influence our feelings. All these emotions, feelings and thoughts become repressed and manifest themselves as depression, fear and other negative symptoms.
What Clients Can ExpectA one-to-one counselling session takes place in a comfortable, secure environment where a client can feel relaxed and able to discuss concerns freely. During each session the counsellor, or therapist, will encourage the client to explore feelings, thoughts and emotions, and by using psychodynamic techniques a counsellor will predominately observe and digest the information the client provides.
The counsellor may say very little, but will be observing body language, expression and anything else that may provide a useful analysis of the client's behaviour and limiting beliefs. This knowledge and information will be used to provide the client with support, understanding and guidance and will empower the client to work towards making positive changes.
There may be long pauses and silences throughout the counselling session, but the client will be encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions in their own time. Reflective pauses can provide as much, if not more, valuable information than a long monologue. The counsellor will also encourage the client to explore free-association – where the client talks about the first thing that comes into their thoughts, even though it may not relate to the subject under discussion at the time – and free-thinking.
Benefit SchemePsychodynamic therapeutic counselling is a long-term commitment, and clients are encouraged to carefully consider this before they embark on this form of counselling. It is a form of therapy that is hugely beneficial to clients who have long-term issues relating to their past. These clients will be experiencing difficulty in changing their beliefs and acknowledging repressed thoughts. This behaviour will undoubtedly influence their lives in a negative manner, and a counsellor will provide the support required to improve this limiting situation.
Most clients seeking psychodynamic counselling may be concerned about their long-term issues but will also be interested in making positive changes. Their problem is identifying ways this can be done without experiencing further emotional worry and distress. An experienced counsellor, or therapist, will be able to assist the client through the necessary steps required to make these changes, but will need to see that the client is committed to the counselling relationship.