The stage may be set, but the story is yet to be told.
Our experiences growing up may shape who we are, but they do not have to determine the person we can become. Recognizing the central importance of childhood and its impact on how we look at the world, experience emotions and relate to ourselves and others, psychodynamic psychotherapies hinge upon the corrective potentials within the client-therapist relationship and carefully attend to unconscious processes.
The therapists are skilled, patient listeners, who hold a core belief in the importance of continuity in relationships. Accepting a deeply layered historical context for even seemingly black-and-white feelings and experiences, the psychodynamic psychotherapist is comfortable with a great deal of complexity. This school of therapy emphasizes insight, helps clients separate the past from the present, and identify their patterns of early attachment (e.g. secure, insecure, avoidant).
This approach also brings us rich concepts like repetition compulsion (ie. Why do I continue to ignore deadlines, even as evidence that the experience that results from doing so far outweighs the momentary pleasure?), object relations, defense mechanisms (ie. Why do I turn outward and blame others the second I begin to feel vulnerable or hurt?), and projective identification (ie. Why is it that my boyfriend and I each experience one another in a way that feels so familiar with how we regard one of our parents?).
The goal of this psychodynamically-informed work is to help clients move forward with greater clarity and fulfillment in their adult lives. And it works. The efficacy of psychodynamic therapies has been scientifically validated since the early work of its progenitor, Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychoanalysis.
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