Frequently Asked Questions About Psychodynamics

Have you ever experienced an emotional breakdown? Did you ever suffer from a personal issue, whether big or small, and did not know how to cope? Or perhaps, have you been to a certain point when you fail to understand your thoughts?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might need to learn a thing or two about psychodynamics.

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Psychodynamics, or psychodynamic psychology, is an approach that explains our behavior’s origins. It emphasizes unconscious psychological processes and motivational forces. Psychodynamics is largely credited to Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology.

Back then, Freud paid close attention to past childhood experiences. He also studied how these conscious and unconscious drivers are crucial in shaping your personality. 

Building upon this, modern psychodynamic therapy assumes that human beings are complex creatures. Therefore, therapists look into a person’s emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and early life experiences. There is an emphasis on problem resolution and developing personal insight.  

Today, we will dive deep into psychodynamic therapy. We will learn the concepts and theories Freud and his successors have built over the years. There will also be a discussion on how these theories are applied in practice.

We will answer questions about the process, techniques used and expected outcomes. Most importantly, we will learn how this can help you with your own personal and interpersonal struggles.

Note that undergoing psychodynamic therapy is not only for people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Psychodynamic therapy can give you the tools to process and cope with your emotions.

To know more, here are frequently asked questions about psychodynamic therapy and how it can help you.

What is an example of psychodynamic therapy?

Brief psychodynamic therapy (BPT), as the name suggests, is relatively done in just a few sessions. There are other categories of therapies under psychodynamic therapy, each applying the psychodynamic theory in different ways.

BPT is recommended for people who are showing psychiatric symptoms due to specific or unknown reasons. For example, it can be applied to those who experienced traumatic situations, such as an accident, rape, or a terrorist attack.

BPT determines the source of anxiety to create a coping strategy, which can sometimes be accomplished in one session.

What are the psychodynamic concepts?

First, our behavior and emotions are strongly influenced by our unconscious mind, which contains our biological tendencies. Second, our personality as adults is significantly shaped by our early childhood experiences. Third, our thoughts, motives, behavior, and emotions do not happen randomly; each of them has a cause or is determined.

Something as simple as accidentally saying a word or choosing a seat in a room has an underlying reason. Lastly, our personality consists of three parts, the primitive id, the ego in charge, and the noble superego.

What does psychodynamic therapy focus on?

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on bringing the unconscious processes in a client’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior into their consciousness. In implementing this focus, psychodynamic therapy raises client self-awareness and facilitates understanding of their present selves concerning their past.

Through self-awareness, the client can catch and examine the patterns in their unconscious mind. They also need to understand how unconscious patterns developed from life-changing or unresolved experiences in their past, especially in childhood.

Through these two goals, the client can deal with their mental disturbances such as anxiety or depression.

What are the key features of the psychodynamic approach?

The psychodynamic approach’s key features include the unconscious mind, childhood influences, determinist views, and tripartite personalities. It also examines defense mechanisms, which are mental strategies that we unconsciously use in dealing with mental disturbances. 

This approach also applies the five psychosexual development phases of a person: oral, anal, phallic, genital, and latency.

Another key feature is psychosocial development, which has eight stages spanning from early childhood to adulthood. These stages introduce a psychosocial crisis analyzing our interpersonal relationships since these greatly affect our personality development.

What techniques are used in psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapists encourage “open discussions, ” where clients can speak their minds to uncover unconscious behavior. Therapists also use “free association,” reading a word list for clients to reply with the first word in their minds. Another technique is the Rorschach inkblots, which allow a therapist to conclude a client’s interpretation of an inkblot.

Therapists also use Freudian slips, stating that words we accidentally say reveal an unmet desire or deep meaning. Lastly, “dream analysis” can also be applied since dreams are a window to our unconscious mind.

What can I expect from psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy is a depth therapy, so expect that you will be analyzed to the core of your being. With that said, also expect to dig up and confront unresolved inner conflicts, especially from your early childhood experiences.

Unlike other therapies, psychodynamic therapy sessions are not structured since they need to be open discussions to reveal your unconscious patterns. Every plan that you bring up in the session is also subjected to your therapist’s psychodynamic interpretation.

By the end, a client can expect to have developed healthier coping strategies to deal with the mental issues they face.

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How long does psychodynamic therapy take?

A psychodynamic therapy session usually lasts for an hour and is held once or twice a week. Short-term therapy can take 25 sessions, and long-term therapy can reach two years or more. This duration varies depending on the number or depth of mental issues that a client is facing.

This therapy is often commended for being a shorter and simpler version of psychoanalysis therapy, excluding their evident differences.

What is the difference between CBT and psychodynamic therapy?

CBT focuses on a client’s thinking and beliefs, while psychodynamic therapy focuses on their emotional behaviors. CBT is usually a short-term therapy, unlike the latter, which can either be short-term or long-term. CBT also explores the client’s current personality, while psychodynamic therapy looks into their past, specifically their early childhood.

CBT is for people with dysfunctional thought processes, and the other one is fitting for people with mental health issues and personality disorders. CBT is for people ready to improve themselves, while psychodynamic therapy is more interpersonal than improving relationships.

What is psychodynamic therapy good for?

Psychodynamic therapy is good for treating mental disturbances or psychological disorders due to specific, traumatic events or unknown reasons. Studies show that psychodynamic therapy can help people with social anxiety and addiction, such as eating disorders.

It can help people who are having trouble finding meaning in their lives or have already lost it. It is also recommended for people who cannot seem to create or maintain healthy interpersonal relationships.

Psychodynamic therapy is generally good for people seeking to develop healthy coping strategies to deal with unresolved inner conflicts.

What are the weaknesses of the psychodynamic approach?

First is the false memory syndrome, where clients tend to recall false memories when asked to reflect on distressing experiences. Second, the approach is restricting as it believes that there is no free will, and every behavior has meaning. Third, the psychodynamic theory cannot be scientifically proven such that no practical tool can measure the unconscious mind.

Next, this approach neglects biological factors like genes that might have shaped the present self instead of just interpersonal relationships. Also, there is cultural bias since non-western cultures do not like or avoid reflecting on unpleasant memories in the past.

How successful is psychodynamic?

Various scientific researches have already proven the success of psychodynamic therapy among clients with different mental health issues. In his study, The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D., says,  “The actual scientific evidence shows that psychodynamic therapy is highly effective.

The benefits are at least as large as those of other psychotherapies, and they last.” With more people interested in this modern psychoanalysis approach, Jonathan shares that more than 160 studies are conducted.

These studies were able to show that clients experienced relief and sustained improvement even after the treatment.

Can psychodynamic therapy help anxiety?

A study by Falk Leichsenring D.Sc.  showed that psychodynamic therapy is helpful for people with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Over 57 participants engaged in 30 weekly 50 minute sessions for psychodynamic therapy or CBT. Their mental state was measured using standard scales and questionnaires before and after the series of therapies.

In conclusion, psychodynamic therapy nearly matched CBT as both treatments resulted in a significant improvement from the participant’s GAD symptoms.

How long should you go to therapy?

Based on research, 50% of the clients need 15 to 20 sessions to have worthwhile improvements. However, these may change depending on the severity of a client’s condition or the treatment plan agreed with the therapist. People who undergo longer treatment lengths are known to show better and significant recovery.

But if you no longer appreciate your sessions, immediately address your concerns regarding your treatment course with your therapist. It is essential to develop a trusting relationship with your therapist because it can negatively affect your treatment.

Is it normal to cry after therapy?

It is normal to cry as clients regularly confront intense feelings throughout their time in therapy. Especially once you allow yourself to be vulnerable, overwhelming emotions can make their way out through tears. Some people can better express themselves through crying, which is okay because therapy is a safe space to be themselves.

However, if your crying still unsettles you, feel free to bring that up with your therapist. Your therapist can guide you through why you feel that way and how you can better handle it.

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As a perspective in psychology, the psychodynamic approach has been reinventing itself over the past decades. Simply put, psychodynamics attempts to understand our behaviors and emotions through diving into our unconscious minds and past experiences.

Psychodynamics allows us to become more self-aware of our past experiences and how they affect us at present. 

Psychodynamic therapists use different techniques to dig up repressed memories. They do this with care because it’s imperative that you feel safe and comfortable. With this comes an openness to sharing your thoughts and feelings.

Given enough time, it can help us improve not only ourselves but our relationships as well. An hour-long therapy session is conducted once or twice a week.

There are short-term and long-term therapy options, with the latter reaching two or more years. The goal is for you to have better coping mechanisms for your inner conflicts.

Despite its acknowledged weaknesses, there is no doubt many people now enjoy the benefits of psychodynamic therapy. Since this approach digs deep into the unconscious, psychodynamics provides you with emotional relief that lasts long after your therapy has ended.

Whether you have a mental or psychological condition such as anxiety, psychodynamics can provide you with better life quality.

Do you think psychodynamic therapy can help you develop better coping mechanisms for your everyday problems? If yes, then seeking help from a psychodynamic therapist will help you process your thoughts. They have years of knowledge and experience on how to create the perfect treatment plan for you.

 

Family And Mental Health

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It has always been known to man that heredity is how we adapt traits like skin color, eye color, hair color, height, facial features, even diseases. We inherit traits and characteristics from our parents which we eventually either grow out of or embrace them. For me, the one thing that I eventually grew out of was my short temper. My mother had always had a short fuse and as a child, I always thought that was okay because I saw my mom doing it and it seemed fine. It was later in life that I realized how toxic it was so, I did my best to correct that and now, I am happy to say that I got over it.

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Improve Your Health With The Help Of These Apps

From shopping, entertainment, business, travel, and online transactions, apps are very much popular these days. It is available for almost everything you need. But what is more interesting is its trending assistance to your mental health wellness. Surely, there are tons of apps out there that can do that. But to save you some time, I already made a list. Online counseling apps like BetterHelp is one of the best examples for this.

Additionally, here are the best of the best-selected apps that improve your mental health.

The Best Apps

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Headspace – It is an app that uses meditation and mindfulness to help you perform at your best. Its mission is to give out vital tools that can help you achieve a happier and healthier life. It allows you to be at your best state, especially when you are in the process of making life-changing decisions. The app supports your mental strength as it provides exercises that promote your focus and attention. It also has the potential to enhance compassionate behavior toward others within weeks.

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Calm – It is a mobile application that helps in reducing anxiety. It targets to improve emotional and mental wellness. It helps in making you happy by focusing on the vital elements of meditation. These include sleeping, breathing, and relaxation. The app aims to bring clarity, joy, and peace to your daily life. It has soothing music and sounds of nature that helps in relaxing the mind and body as well. The app promotes simple yet effective ways of meditation.

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SupperBetter – SupperBetter is an app that helps in increasing resilience and the ability to stay mentally and emotionally stable. It gets represented through a series of games that allows optimism and motivation to take place. Playing the games for 30 days allows an improvement in mood regulation, decreased symptoms of anxiety, boosted self-confidence, and increased productivity. The app also helps you adapt better and easy-to-maintain habits that can boost your interpersonal skills, strengthen your relationship, and fight post-traumatic stress disorders.

Pacifica – It is an app that provides a toolbox that helps reduce daily anxiety and stress. It goes along with a highly supportive community of like-minded individuals who also aim for mental betterment. The goal of the app is to break cycles of unhealthy thoughts that linger in your head. It also provides methods that assist your feelings and behavior through its daily challenges to tackle stress one day at a time.

Mood Path – Whether you are on the verge of having a rough patch in your life or have a slight concern about your psychological health, Mood Path can support you. Its goal is to guide you to look on the brighter side. It accesses your emotional and mental well-being by asking a series of questions that screens symptoms of depression and anxiety. The whole idea of the app is to increase your awareness of your thoughts and emotions. The app offers more than a hundred psychological exercises that allow a better understanding of your mood as well.

These platforms provide professional guidance from trained professionals. Now that you have the list, it is time to try these mental health apps now.

The Future Of Healthcare In The Technological World

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It is no secret that the future of technology can transform better functioning healthcare. That includes the boost of more convenient access to medical applications, as well as the usage of tools and equipment. The probability of achieving a more reliable diagnosis and an up-and-coming solution to diseases and illnesses is entirely on its way to perfection. But those are only a couple of things people notice visibly. Let’s take a moment to evaluate the other benefits of technological advancement to the future healthcare system.

A new smartphone application could potentially transform how patients with mental illnesses are monitored and treated by clinicians. — Rick Nauert PhD

Access And Convenience

Since healthcare is a public concern, a lot of people are worried about its costs. Admittedly, some public hospitals and clinics offer a lot of discounts and other privileges. However, there are complicated conditions that somewhat require the public to pay additional expenses. Some of which are surgical operations, extensive medical consultations, frequent therapy sessions, and so on. But the good thing about technology is its ability to provide information as to where patients can get and seek out help for a more affordable cost. It allows the public to access contacts such as professional health experts in the online realm. That is how technology creates an advantage to lower patients’ expenses in food and transportation.

…the explosion of smart phones with high speed broadband will allow us to instantly access hundreds of peers in targeted social networks while standing on a crowded bus. These technologies help us to connect on a level never seen in history; and for individuals less likely to seek professional help, they provide a confidential self-paced avenue towards change. — Frederick Muench Ph.D.

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Diagnosis And Treatment

Technological advancement takes complete responsibility in delivering a quicker diagnostic result. That is why an up to date upgrades of medical applications is entirely essential among all. Safe technology can improve patients’ healthcare by allowing doctors and health experts to access patients’ medical data and images. The whole process saves time in the queuing practice and also takes away the pressure in administering emergencies. When it comes to results, a well-programmed application along with the right functioning equipment ensures segregation of possible signs and symptoms of certain diseases and illness. It gives both the patient and health expert a moment to evaluate the condition in a two-way process. One is administering the type of condition, and the other one is taking resolution over it. Therefore, there is a collaboration of both individuals that aim for overall betterment.

…if an algorithm learns how to give the right advice for the right person based on their physiological data (collected from the wristband) then it doesn’t really matter if scientists ever map physiology to emotions. All that matters is that they correctly map your physiology to the right intervention, support, or coaching. — Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

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Monitoring And Recovery

With the help of technology, people see a different approach when it comes to addressing health issues. The full understanding of the different types of diseases and health conditions is more transparent and informative because of the specific devices that help in monitoring. It ensures medical innovation because people are now getting instant access whenever and wherever they want. That is because a lot of people want to know whether they are at health risk before they entirely fall ill. So knowing their current status allows them to accept their condition and prepare themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. The point of knowing something is wrong becomes the patients’ approach to an advanced recovery.

Technology promises to provide more excellent ways of healthcare incorporation. But honestly, to this day, we can all agree that what it does right now is entirely more than enough of what we can ask for.

Healthcare Advancement – The Possibility Is Endless

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Interest in positive technology – or technology designed to improve the quality of our lives – has boomed over the last few years. Now we have everything from happiness apps to physiological sensors that detect stress to digital objects that remind you to practice gratitude. — Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

With all the upgrades that people can find in the healthcare system, who would not appreciate the growth of technology these days? Not only it provides better quality diagnosis and treatments, but people now receive better and more convenient methods of different medical approach with technology’s continued development. Whether it is the assistance in medication, online therapy, professional health diagnosis, and a wide variety of surgeries, the advancement in technology is doing a better job.

The Technology At Its Finest

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The advancement in medical technology is now targeting more in-depth testing of such illness. In line with that, patients now use home medical kits as well as personalized genomic services. These include blood pressure, predictive bio-simulation, and biomarker testing. It helps patients easily identify the signs and symptoms of their condition so that they can have enough time before running into a medical consultation. Yes, there are instances that the technology experiences some inconsistencies too. However, the total percentage of functioning apps, types of equipment, and tools are significantly higher compared to those malfunctioning ones. Therefore, it is safe to say that technological advancement in the healthcare system is still at its best.

Objective information helps a person learn more about a disorder before ever having to consult with a mental health professional. Knowing some basic information about one’s concerns can also help a person ask more informed questions of the mental health professional. — John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Meanwhile, for those patients who choose to consult a professional healthcare expert can have several options. These options can redirect them away from hospitalization, which is more convenient and cost-effective for the time being. Let’s say, for example, the benefits of online counseling. Some apps and programs allow patients in remote areas to talk to a professional healthcare service provider to help them avoid spending extra expenses, such as transportation. No, an online counseling session is not at all different from the traditional clinical consultation. That is because it also caters to patients’ review of information and diagnosis. With that, the decision to continue with further medical assistance is still on the table. Furthermore, on-call doctors are readily available too in answering and providing answers to questions as well as offer patients with healthcare directives.

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The possibility of using technology is right in front of every person’s fingertip. Through the use of their smartphones, emails, video chats, text messaging, and phone calls are all beneficial. The whole idea of these process flows on telemedicine. It is where an application serves to take the role of healthcare professionals, which allows excellent suggestion to patients’ improved health practices.

Technologies are short-cuts that amplify everyday experience. Consequently, they can be significantly more beneficial, or harmful, than traditional self-improvement methods. — Frederick Muench Ph.D.

Insight

Though the advancement of technology already created a vast difference in the way people communicate and address all sorts of illnesses, it is still essential to consider one thing. Yes, technological tools and smartphone applications can help a lot. However, patients must recognize that healthcare professionals will always be at the forefront of all the treatment procedure available out there. That is also mainly in unique and complicated cases. But with regards to the new dynamic to the digitized relationship between the professional healthcare provider and the patients, the growth of medical collaboration is pretty much getting the right models. That is primarily in the revised understanding of medical access, use, and role in the healthcare system.

How Technology Is Changing The Healthcare System

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Technology is one of today’s greatest achievements. With all its beneficial contribution to human lives, there is nothing that perhaps it cannot do. It is useful in education, manufacturing, building construction, transportation, as we all research and studies for the scientific approach. But right now, the focus is its momentous contribution to the healthcare system.

 

Technology And Healthcare

Technology is now changing the way medical providers create healthcare decisions together with the rendered treatments that suit patients. The process is now more accurate, transparent, and efficient. That is because some of technology’s contribution to healthcare reaches far better results. It allows a better and concrete diagnosis of diseases and suggests a better approach in dealing with them as well. These include telemedicine, home diagnosis, non-surgical procedures, and even therapeutic pop-up retail settings.

When thinking about the design of the app, the creators wanted to make it as easy as possible to navigate, allowing users to get what they need quickly while also being sensitive to those who don’t have the freedom of mobility. — Allison Abrams, LCSW-R

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Aside from the massive technological upgrades, healthcare experts and providers are now acknowledging the importance of technology in treating patients remotely. That is the reason why digital health startups are now receiving billions of funds to sustain predictive analytics. That is because of its pilot programs that significantly show excellent results in remote monitoring and communication. Health experts and organizations are now focusing on investing in a more convenient way of providing services, which is the massive goal of implementing mobile medical applications. And that is along with its wearable health monitor technologies and devices alike.

Internet based screening tools and interventions allow for millions of people around the world to be screened for mental health problems and begin the process of change from their own homes. — Frederick Muench Ph.D.

As of wearable technology, the healthcare system is also investing primarily on creating them, precisely due to its rising trend. The technological devices’ goal is to allow a more timely administration of therapies and medical treatments for patients who find convenience in their homes. It creates a positive contribution to the healthcare system because it significantly reduces the cost of traditional intervention. That is precisely the admission rates of patients in the hospitals that go down an average percentage every year.

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Technology is not only useful in creating trendy devices, but it also improves the quality of care. Though there are instances that the applications are not perfect, but its specified calculation of diagnosis is often helpful in a lot of ways through an app. It allows an alternative to immediate diagnosis and treatment through a personalized variety of readings. It becomes more convenient for patients to directly compare the number of benchmarks that show a potential cause of an illness or a disease. From there, they can manage to detect the correlation of their overall condition and medication interaction, as well as patients’ inadequate health practices.

Through sharing one’s experiences with a mental disorder, treatments, and personal tribulations, this information becomes a unique and helpful learning base for others. Those who read these published experiences suddenly realize that they are not alone in grappling with this problem. — John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Getting excellent healthcare information through communication with professionals, patients can decide whether they want to proceed to seek out medical help or not. Technology allows them to communicate with health social groups if they instead do not wish to choose to try to find professional medical assistance. Technology allows a vast network for patients to share their readings, consult online health experts, or even seek out emotional support from other individuals as well.

Technology is not just a thing that makes lives more comfortable. It is also a tool that allows people to manage their health practices as well.

Online Counseling Apps (For Depression, Anxiety And Other Concerns)

Online counseling is an alternative to traditional counseling especially when people can’t physically go to their therapists. There are many reasons why online counseling is an option to people and one of those reasons is money. Traditional counseling sessions with a licensed therapist or counselor can be very expensive. As for online counseling, payment is by the minute and at times, there are free services too.

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4 Mental Health Apps For People Who Can’t See A Therapist

Millions all over the world now experience mental health disorders. In the United States alone, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that about 43.6 million adults in 2014 were affected by a mental health problem. And these figures don’t even include issues like substance abuse. People ages 18 to 49 years old are also more likely to have mental health problems. These numbers show how mental health has become a severe and impending issue that must be solved.

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