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WHAT IS PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a method of treatment that offers a way of understanding ourselves, our relationships and our way of negotiating and getting along in the world. A psychodynamic approach can help with a range of issues that need and deserve attention before a more authentic, thoughtful and freer way of living can develop.

Often actions, words and ways of experiencing are influenced by early life and early ways of understanding. The roots may have long been hidden from awareness but the residues of these early experiences can exert influence on our current life. This can take many forms including anger that is too intense for the situation, anxiety, bullying, self-loathing, self-defeat and other states.

It is easy to feel frustrated and guilty because no matter how hard we try we can’t seem to sustain changes and may fall back into old patterns and behaviour. Various forms of therapy, self help and physical treatments might have been tried but because of deeper meanings, these more superficial approaches have offered little lasting substantive change and satisfaction.

Working with me in psychodynamic psychotherapy through structured weekly or twice-weekly sessions, factors outside of awareness are traced back to their early origins. We can then begin to see how these residues have changed and developed over time and the role they play in current relationships, difficulties and challenges. We come to understand why we can’t seem to just ‘get over things’ and ‘move on’.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy works to uncover these deeper origins and long-held patterns so that we can examine and begin to see the role they play in current difficulties. Thus we can begin to find other more effective ways of negotiating the world and relationships.

This type of treatment can address a range of issues and a diverse population can experience substantial gains. The best way to determine if this approach might be helpful to you is to make an appointment for a consultation. I offer an initial meeting at no fee.

Let’s look at an example. Someone whose parents had a conflicted or difficult relationship may resolve that this will never happen to her/him. However unknowingly, she may push potential partners away and avoid relationships or he may become controlling and possessive of a partner. She may become over-accommodating to others with the result of putting personal needs last or he may develop a false 'going-along' personality that hides anger and loneliness. Another possibility is that she may follow all of these and other patterns at various times. In one way or another he may be acting out what was learned early on. The result is a way of life that is frustrating to oneself and others.

This example is a simple one - we are all more complex and our behaviour can have multiple and specific meanings. However it does illustrate how an understanding of the past can be helpful in unraveling, exploring and discussing current problems and issues. It shows how a pattern can develop and take on a life of its own over time and experience. We can see how the past and its residues can play a very active part in our current behaviour and feelings and how understanding it can allow us to change our way of relating and dealing.

WHY CHOOSE PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the only therapy model outside of psychoanalysis shown to result in sustained improvement after therapy has ended. This includes symptom reduction (an example would be decreased anxiety or panic), the uncovering of more positive aspects of personality, change in interpersonal relationships and an improvement in general life satisfaction.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

With a psychodynamic approach through weekly or twice-weekly sessions, difficulties in daily life and relationships are discussed and factors outside of our awareness are traced back to their early origins. We can begin to see how these residues have changed and developed over time – the way they have taken on a life of their own and the role they play in current difficulties. We come to understand how they create and maintain these difficulties and to understand why we don’t just ‘get over’ things or ‘move on’. When this understanding which is both intellectually and emotionally powerful is made clearer, we can identify problems and their sources as they show up in the course of our life. There is a possibility of working them through and lasting change becomes possible. We can then develop a livelier, more effective and satisfying way of life.

It is not surprising to learn that this process is not as straightforward as it may sound here. We are all a unique and specific combination of factors, feelings and experiences and the process of unraveling and understanding deserves respect and attention over time.

WHO CHOOSES PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY?

The diversity of people who choose psychodynamic psychotherapy as a treatment may be surprising. If you are willing to be reasonably honest with yourself and with the therapist, most issues can be helped through this form of treatment.

The best thing to do is to call me or email to make an appointment for an initial consultation at no fee. I can be reached at 416.533.0495 or by email at laynemellanby@rogers.com.

WHAT CAN PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY HELP WITH?*

  • Career/work/academic issues and challenges
  • Relationship issues
  • Life transitions
  • Self esteem, loneliness, general unhappiness and dissatisfaction
  • Anxiety/depression/panic
  • Self-defeating, self-sabotaging behaviours
  • Trauma
  • Long-term effects of abuse

* Difficulties and problems are determined by many factors and can take many forms. The issues listed above can be inter-connected and usually don’t show up in isolation.

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To make an appointment for an initial consultation please call me at 416.533.0495 or email me at laynemellanby@rogers.com.

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