As a psychodynamic psychotherapist I am trained to see clients once or twice weekly, sometimes less frequently depending on needs. I have a private consultation room where I meet with clients. Initial consultations are normally 90 minutes and on-going sessions normally 50 - 60 minutes. Frequency of sessions is something normally agreed at initial consultations when a client's reasons for seeking psychotherapy/counselling/therapy are explored. It also depends on individual or couples therapy needs.
The psychodynamic approach is based on psychoanalytic theory. This approach helps clients understand and resolve their problems or difficulties by working to increase awareness of their inner world and its influence over relationships both in the present and past. It aims for deep seated change in personality, emotional development and lived experience. It involves working with interpretation, that is making the unconscious part of the mind conscious where the therapist shares ideas about what the client may be communicating and works with validating and holding the emotional experience of the client. This includes the client's experience of the therapist in the psychotherapeutic work itself. The aim being to support the client in their understanding of themselves and others and to help them to have a sense of feeling heard and understood.
This process develops over time through the development of a trusting relationship between the client and therapist and is typically known as or referred to as the transference relationship. The approach also involves a focus on everyday life and outside experience such as intimate relationships, family relationships, professional and social relationships, coping with unexpected events.
The more frequent therapy sessions are, the more potential there is for a strengthening of the transference relationship. This is why psycho-analysts are trained to see clients up to five times a week and psychoanalytic psychotherapists are trained to see clients up to three times a week.
As the therapy develops, unconscious patterns of the client's inner world become reflected in the client's relationship with the therapist. This process helps clients grow in their awareness of these patterns and what their function may be in their interactions with others. The dynamics are explored with the therapist, time and again if necessary until satisfactorily worked through. This sometimes involves working through powerful feelings, thoughts, actions that get triggered both inside and outside the therapy space. The aim is to build insight, understanding, acceptance, compassion and a sense of self-mastery. Engaging in such depth work needs to be carefully considered and based on personal need and patience with the process.
The psychodynamic therapy approach can help with this and duration of therapy varies from short-term to medium and longer term according to need and the presenting situation. People seek therapy for diverse reasons. Many people experience a loss of meaning in their lives or seek a greater sense of fulfilment. This can, for some, feel emotionally painful and lonely to bear and knowing there is a safe and secure place to go and talk to some one without worrying about keeping up all sorts of personal defences can be quite a liberating, comforting and transformative experience. Equally this means the therapeutic relationship must be treated with the utmost of trust and integrity by the professional therapist keeping to professional boundaries according to professional registration requirements.
People sometimes seek help for specific reasons such as depression, suicidal history/thoughts, self-harm, relational difficulties including marital breakdown/breakdown of long-term relationships, impact of retirement from work, transition into older age, mid-life crises, bereavement, serious physical/mental illness, addictions, trauma/post traumatic stress, sexual abuse/victim/perpetrator, psycho-somatic conditions, psycho-sexual difficulties, puerperal psychosis, eating disorders, phobic anxieties, transitions/transgender, low self-esteem/low confidence, anxiety disorders, sense of detachment/disconnection from the world and in relationship with loved ones/others, difficulties in adjustment to stressful life-changing events, spiritual distress/crises of faith.
If you are interested to know more about the approach before contacting me please look at the British Psychoanalytic Council website:
If you are interested in an initial consultation please contact me by telephone, e mail or text to make an appointment.