The method of therapy is determined using personalized approach, carefully studying and considering each specific situation. The aim of psychotherapy is to help the patient to improve relationship with oneself and others, which usually also leads to a reduction or disappearance of disturbing physical or psycho-emotional feelings.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy, whether short-term or long-term, is an effective evidence-based therapy.
The roots of psychodynamic therapy can be found in psychoanalysis – a long-term “talking cure” and the early works of physician, neurologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and his colleagues and followers. As in psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy recognizes that early life relationships and events continue to affect people’s lives in adulthood; that human behavior stems from conscious or rational as well as unconscious motives, and that conversation about emotional or physical difficulties and manifestations can help to find ways to solve them or at least ease them.
Early theories about the causes of psycho-emotional difficulties and treatment methods have changed significantly over time, but modern neuro-visualization methods prove that these early notions play an important role in understanding psychological development and emotional disorders. For example, the existence of unconscious and subconscious processes and their effects are now clearly demonstrated, and research into the processes described a century ago, is actively continued, using modern neuro-visualization techniques.
In psychodynamic therapy, the therapeutic alliance is very important – a personal connection between the therapist and the patient, which allows them to work in tandem, so that the patient can gain insight into aspects of the experience that can be difficult to access otherwise.
In psychodynamic therapy the patient usually visits the therapist once or twice a week.
Short-term psychodynamic therapy is limited in time and can usually last six to eighteen months. Long-term psychodynamic therapy may continue for several months or a few years without a specific time limit for the patient and therapist.
It has been proven that the benefits of psychodynamic therapy not only persist after the end of treatment, but their effects increase in a long run. This suggests that the knowledge and experience, gained during therapy, develop psychological skills and abilities that will be strengthened over time and continue to have a positive impact on life.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
It is an effective, evidence-based therapy. In clinical practice, it is sometimes used in combination with psychodynamic psychotherapy to achieve the desired change. The method is based on learning and cognitive theories with the rationale that thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interrelated.
During therapy, attention focuses on current thoughts and behaviors that are being studied and tested with the goal to improve or modify psycho-emotional or physical manifestations. Less attention is paid to unconscious processes and childhood experiences.
Supportive therapy and crisis intervention
Supportive therapy and crisis intervention can be used in cases of psycho-emotional traumatic events. Psycho-emotional trauma can be acute (a single, unexpected event, such as loss of a loved one, a life-threatening diagnosis), or as the consequence of a long-term, recurrent psycho-emotional trauma (such as a pandemic, prolonged stressful situations at work).
If and when necessary, medication treatment can be used in combination with psychotherapy, or separately, assessing the situation in a personalized way.
1. Practitioner’s Guide to Evidence-Based Psychotherapy, Jane E. Fisher, William T. O’Donohue
2. Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Second Edition, 2016, D.K. Freedheim, J.M. DiFilippo. S. Klostermann
3. “The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy,” Jonathan K. Shedler, PhD, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine; American Psychologist, Vol. 65. No.2.
4. Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (Second Edition), 2012 G.O. Gabbard, F. Rachal
5. Harvard Mental Health Letter, Merits of psychodynamic therapy, September, 2010
6. Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry (Oxford Handbooks Series) 3rd Edition, David Semple, Roger Smyth
7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second Edition: Basics and Beyond 2nd Edition, Judith S. Beck, Aaron T. Beck