Psychodynamic techniques used in therapy
What Is Psychodynamic Therapy? Types, Techniques, Benefits
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By Jillian Levy, CHHC
April 28, 2020
According to Good Therapy website, psychodynamic therapy was developed as a “simpler, less-lengthy alternative to psychoanalysis.” Never heard of this approach before and wondering, “What is psychodynamic therapy?”
In simple terms, it’s a way of interpreting a client’s past in order to understand how it affects his or her present moods and behaviors.
Someone’s past is considered the foundation and formation of that person’s psychological processes, so gaining insight into one’s earlier experiences can help explain why she or he is dealing with certain symptoms, such as depression, and what that person can do to improve his or her coping skills.
What Is Psychodynamic Therapy?
The definition of psychodynamic therapy (also called insight-oriented therapy) is “a form of therapy that focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.”
The psychodynamic approach involves a client and therapist examining unresolved conflicts from the client’s past that have contributed to unwanted thought patterns, habits and symptoms.
These “past conflicts” often include dysfunctional relationships, often during childhood, which may lead to problems such as addictions and depression.
Psychodynamic therapy is one form of psychoanalytic therapy (or talk therapy between a therapist and patient). Compared to other forms of psychoanalytic therapy, it usually requires less frequency and number of sessions in order to help a patient reach her or his goals.
Something else that makes it stand apart is that it it focuses on mental/emotional experiences, rather just symptoms and behaviors.
Related: What Is Art Therapy? Benefits & How It’s Used to Help Heal
It’s possible to practice psychodynamic therapy in a group or family setting, as a couple, or as an individual.
Some clients use this approach with their therapists for only a short period of time, while others rely on it as a long-term therapy approach spanning several years or more.
Psychodynamic therapy is actually considered a category of therapies rather than a single type.
Here are some psychodynamic therapy examples and approaches that therapists use:
- Brief PDT, which is generally conducted over the course of only a few sessions. This may be used to help victims of rape, accidents, terrorism or other situation.
- Psychodynamic family therapy, used to help resolve conflicts.
- Open dialogue therapy, in which information is freely shared by the client.
- Music therapy, in which clients expresses themselves through use of music or another form of art, sometimes while also talking.
- Journaling/writing to share emotions, fears, thoughts, etc.
Goals/How It Works
What is psychodynamic therapy used for? The primary goals of psychodynamic therapy is to improve a client’s self-awareness and understanding of how the past has influenced current behavior.
A client might wish to change an aspect of her or his identity, personal narrative or personality or to give up unwanted habits. It’s believed that this can happen more easily when the therapist helps the client reveal unconscious content of his/her psyche.
What is a psychodynamic approach exactly, and how does it work?
- During a session a therapist and client discuss the client’s emotions, thoughts, early-life experiences and beliefs. This is done via open-ended dialogue and questions.
- Part of the process is recognizing, acknowledging, understanding, expressing and overcoming negative and contradictory feelings and repressed emotions.
- The patient commits to deeply exploring and analyzing earlier experiences in order to tie him/her to present emotions and relationship patterns.
- With help from the therapist, the client can change her/his recurring thought patterns and let go of unhelpful defense mechanisms and unhealthy relationships.
Theory, Perspective, Key Concepts
Psychodynamic theory is based on the belief that behavior is influenced by unconscious thought. This theory is the basis for the “Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual” (PDM), which was released in 2006 and is used as an alternative to the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” (DSM).
The key difference the DSM and PDM is that DSM focuses on observable symptoms associated with mental health conditions, while the PDM describes subjective experiences.
What are the key features of psychodynamic approach?
- The focus is on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. Self-reflection and self-examination are important concepts for getting to the root of one’s problems.
- PDT theory states that the relationships and circumstances of early life continue to affect people as adults. The relationship between therapist and patient is used as a “a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient’s life.”
- Uncovering defense mechanisms is also a key concept. These can include denial, repression and rationalization, which can contribute to relationship troubles and addictive behaviors.
Is psychodynamic therapy effective? According to the American Psychological Association, research has shown that psychoanalytic theory can be clinically applied to a wide range of psychological disorders, including:
- Personality disorders
- Addictions/substance abuse
- Social anxiety disorder/difficulty forming or maintaining personal relationships
- Eating disorders
- Panic disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Physical ailments, such as chronic pain
1. May Help Reduce Depression and Anxiety
PDT sessions can lead to increased self-esteem and self-compassion, better use of one’s skills/talents and coping abilities, improved relationships, and healthier habits — all of which can help to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.
A meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration that included data from 33 studies demonstrated hat short-term psychodynamic therapy significantly improved patients’ depression and anxiety symptoms, with modest to moderate clinical benefits.
The analysis included patients with a variety of problems with emotional regulation, including those with general, somatic, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as interpersonal problems and social adjustment. In all outcome categories, patients saw significantly greater improvement in the treatment versus the control groups.
When patients were assessed nine months or more after treatment ended, it was found that many experienced lasting psychological changes.
2. Can Help Improve Social Functioning
A meta-analysis published in Archives of General Psychiatry that included 17 randomized controlled trials found evidence that PDT was significantly more effective than a control and just as effective as other types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for supporting those with a variety of psychiatric symptoms and poor social functioning.
3. Could Improve Personality Traits and Relationships
American Psychologist published findings from one meta-analyses comprising 160 studies focused on psychodynamic therapy, featuring more than 1,400 patients with a range of mental health problems. Researchers found substantial treatment benefits, even among patients with personality disorders — considered to be deeply ingrained maladaptive traits that are commonly difficult to treat.
It was found that psychodynamic psychotherapy “sets in motion psychological processes that lead to ongoing change, even after therapy has ended.” With the therapist’s help, patients are able to practice self-exploration, examine their own emotional blind spots and better understand relationship patterns so they can be improved.
What to Expect
During a PDT session, here’s what typically takes place:
- Therapists lead the discussion but usually work with clients to first identify a focus/goal and important issues, which helps create structure for the sessions. Having a clear focus makes it possible to do interpretive work in a relatively short time.
- The client/patient speaks freely and openly to the therapist about anything that comes to mind, including current issues, fears, desires, dreams and fantasies.
- Session normally last about one hour. Frequency is typically once or twice per week, as opposed to three to five days a week with traditional psychoanalysis. Many people are able to attend PDT sessions for a shorter amount of time than other psychoanalytic sessions, although six months to one year (or more) of treatment may still be needed.
- Research shows that patients often experience ongoing improvements after therapy has ended, although follow-up sessions can still be beneficial.
Most therapists do not exclusively practice PDT but rather incorporate it into other therapeutic approaches. You can expect that your therapist may combine PDT theories with psychological techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other approaches.
PDT therapists use certain techniques to help clients connect the dots between their past experiences and their current problems.
Psychodynamic therapy techniques and those used in CBT have a number of things in common. CBT seeks to change conscious thoughts and observable behaviors that are destructive.
The firsts step in achieving this is making patients more aware of their own thoughts and behaviors, which is also a focus of PDT.
One distinction between CBT and PDT is that CBT focuses on thoughts and beliefs more, while PDT encourages a patient to explore and talk about emotions more.
Therapists use some of the following techniques to help facilitate PDT sessions:
- Talking openly about about automatic ways of thinking and life patterns that once seemed inevitable or uncontrollable, so they can be reconsidered. Speaking “openly” means discussing anything that comes to mind in an unstructured, uncensored way, which provides access to thoughts and feelings that might otherwise remain outside of awareness.
- “Free association” practices, in which the therapist reads a list of words and the client responds immediately with the first word that comes to mind.
- Identifying new choices and options for existing problems, perhaps by journaling and writing them down.
- Identifying ways in which the client avoids distressing thoughts and feelings, including defense mechanisms that are used. A therapist will often redirect the attention of patients to issues they are avoiding.
- Considering ways that the client can be more flexible and adaptive, perhaps by discussing news ways of coping in difficult situations.
- Role-playing situations so the client can better understand how she/he contributes to relationship patterns.
- Use of Rorschach inkblots, which the therapist presents as the client freely describes what he/she sees.
- Dream analysis to open up discussion about patterns, fears, etc.
Risks and Side Effects
Because a “therapeutic alliance” between client and provider is to important in PDT, it’s crucial to find a therapist who is knowledgeable and properly trained.
Be sure to work with a therapist whom you both feel comfortable with and who is trained specifically in this type of therapy, perhaps as well as CBT. Look for a provider who is licensed, experienced in social work, a psychotherapist or other mental health or medical professional with advanced training in psychoanalysis.
One challenge with this approach may be the cost, considering that several sessions for at least a few months are needed to show improvements. Although it may not be the most cost-effective way to deal with psychiatric problems, it can teach clients skills that can be used for a lifetime, which is why improvements in symptoms often increase with time.
- What is psychodynamic therapy (PDT)? It’s a form of psychoanalytic therapy that focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.
- According to psychodynamic theory, relationships and circumstances of early life continue to affect people as adults. Talking about early-life, unconscious problems can help people find ways to solve them and improve their mental well-being.
- Benefits of PDT can include helping manage depression, anxiety, phobias and addictions.
- The goal of PDT sessions is to become more self-aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, perceptions and experiences. A “therapeutic alliance” between therapist and client allows this to happen.
- Psychodynamic therapy vs. CBT: Which is better? CBT (which seeks to change conscious thoughts and observable behaviors) may be used with PDT since they both work to uncover ingrained beliefs and habits. Both have been shown to be effective and for benefits to last or even increase over time.
psychodynamic therapy and an overview of the techniques
Psychodynamic therapy aims to delve beneath the surface of a client’s current symptoms or problems, such as ongoing conflict with a partner or general sadness about one’s present life situation, to uncover the deeper underlying issues and events that may contribute to those problems. It is the belief among psychodynamic therapists that a client’s current problems are, at least in part, a reflection of some unconscious drives (e.g., desires or fears). These unconscious drives are presumed to be related to an individual’s early life experiences, and they continue to affect present-day functioning.
Psychodynamic therapy utilizes talk therapy to identify the origins of the client’s difficulties. There are several techniques to uncover the unconscious drives or conflicts. One such technique is called free association, whereby the therapist invites the client to say whatever comes to mind in the therapy session. The therapist helps the client express him or herself freely without any attempts to filter the content. The idea is to provide the client with a safe, non-judgmental space to deeply explore and analyze some earlier unresolved experiences and emotions. Psychodynamic therapists help their clients process and work through painful memories and emotions. By doing so, clients often experience a reduction in their symptoms or distress. Another emphasis is on helping the client become more aware of his or her pattern of relating to other people, including to the therapist. With greater awareness, the client may then learn to better identify and replace any unhelpful communication patterns with more effective approaches.
A key focus of psychodynamic therapy is the therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist. Building and maintaining a strong working alliance in therapy is critical for a number of reasons. First, the client is likely to place greater trust in the therapist and therapeutic process if there is a solid therapeutic relationship between him/her and the therapist. Trust fosters openness. Clients can only receive help for their problems if they are able to openly discuss them with their therapist. Therefore, if clients are to honestly talk to their therapists about their most troubling concerns, it important that they feel safe and not worry about being misunderstood or not supported by their therapist. The relationship between the client and therapist is also useful in helping the client examine and resolve problems, particularly problems with regard to significant relationships in the client’s life. A client’s pattern of relating to or communicating with others is likely to be manifested in his/her interactions with the therapist. As such, the therapist will help the client identify unhelpful relational patterns through a closer examination of the client’s behavior in the therapy office.
This summary provides a brief glimpse of the usefulness and complex nature of psychodynamic therapy. Due to the vastly different life experiences that clients bring into therapy—among many other interacting factors—there is rarely a standard, clear-cut approach to treatment. Most psychodynamic therapists let the moment-to-moment content in the therapy session dictate which specific interventions to use. This results in a highly individualized therapeutic approach that is rooted in many of the principles outlined above.
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Psychodynamic Methods of Therapy (PDP) - Psikhologos
The basic premise of any form of psychoanalytic therapy is that the individual's problems that trouble him in the present cannot be successfully resolved without a deep understanding of their unconscious, the origins of which are rooted in the relationship of early childhood with parents and other children in the family. The aim of psychoanalysis is to bring the individual's conflicts (repressed emotions and motives) to his awareness so that he can attempt to resolve them on a more rational and realistic basis. Psychodynamic forms of therapy include traditional Freudian psychoanalysis and later forms of therapy developed from it. nine0003
One of the main methods used by psychoanalysts to recover unconscious conflicts is free association. The client was encouraged to let go of the free flow of thoughts and feelings and talk about whatever came to mind without correcting or discarding anything. To achieve this, however, is not easy. In conversation, we usually try to keep the thread that runs through our remarks and cut out non-essential thoughts. In addition, most of us have learned all our lives to be careful and think before we speak, so thoughts that we consider inappropriate, stupid, or shameful usually go unspoken. nine0003
However, with time and with the support of the psychoanalyst, free association becomes easier. But even when individuals consciously try to give their thoughts a free ride, they suddenly find that something stops them. When the patient becomes silent, suddenly changes the subject, or is unable to recall the details of an event, the analyst assumes that he is resisting recalling certain thoughts or feelings. Freud believed that such blockage or resistance results from the fact that the individual unconsciously controls the sensitive areas that are precisely to be explored. nine0003
Another method often used along with free association is dream analysis. Freud believed that dreams are "a direct path to the unconscious" and that they represent unconscious desires or fears in disguise. He divided the content of dreams into manifest (obvious, conscious) and latent (hidden, unconscious). By discussing the manifest content of the dream and then freely associating it, analyst and client attempt to extract the unconscious meaning. nine0003
In psychoanalysis, the relationship of the patient to the psychoanalyst is considered an important part of the treatment. Sooner or later the client develops strong emotional reactions to the analyst. Sometimes these reactions are positive and friendly, sometimes they are negative and hostile. Often these reactions are not adequate to what happens during psychotherapy sessions. The client's tendency to make the therapist the object of his emotional reactions is called transference: in his relationship to the analyst, the client expresses how he really feels about other people who are or were important in his life. Freud believed that the transference reflects relics, the consequences of childhood reactions to parents, and used this transference of relationships as a means of explaining to the patient the childhood origins of many of his worries and fears. By pointing out to his patients how they react to their fears, the psychoanalyst helps them to better understand their reactions to other people. The following excerpts show how the psychoanalyst first applies transference and then free association. nine0003
Client: I don't understand why you keep coming back to the fact that this step was right for me at that time in my life.
Analyst: This was discovered earlier. You want my approval before you take any action. Here, apparently, the point is that one of your conflicts with your wife is an attempt to get her approval of what you decided to do, and this conflict is now between us.
Client: Maybe so. The approval of others has always been important to me. nine0003
Analyst: Let's dwell on this for a bit. Associate freely with the idea of gaining the approval of others. Just let the associations go by themselves, don't push them.
(Woody & Robertson, 1988, p. 129)
Traditional psychoanalysis is a long, intensive and costly process. Typically, the analyst will have 50-minute sessions with the client, several times a week, for at least a year, and often for several years. Many people find that self-study under traditional psychoanalysis is worth the expense, but others cannot afford the expense. In addition, people suffering from acute depression, anxiety, or psychosis usually cannot tolerate the lack of structure found in traditional psychoanalysis and need more urgent measures to alleviate their symptoms. nine0003
In response to these requests, and in response to changes in psychoanalytic theory since Freud, new forms of psychodynamic therapy have been developed that tend to be shorter and more structured than traditional psychoanalysis. Often these forms of therapy are referred to as interpersonal therapy (Klerman et al., 1984). Sessions of these forms of therapy are less frequent, usually once a week. At the same time, the full reconstruction of childhood experiences is given less importance and more attention is paid to the problems that arise in the process of the client's interaction with other people. The method of free association is usually replaced by a direct discussion of the most pressing issues, and the therapist can act in more direct ways, bringing up certain topics on his own and without waiting for the client to bring them up himself. Although transference is still seen as an important part of the therapeutic process, the therapist may attempt to limit the intensity of the transference. A number of studies show the effectiveness of interpersonal therapy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction, and eating disorders (Markowitz & Weissman, 1995).
Still basic, however, is the psychoanalyst's belief that unconscious motives and fears are at the core of most emotional problems and that insight and development are essential to healing (Auld & Hyman, 1991). As we will learn in the next section, behavioral therapists disagree with these views.
Behavior Therapy encompasses a range of different therapies based on the principles of conditioning and learning described in Chapter 7. stress and that some methods developed in learning experiments can help to replace maladapted responses with more adequate ones. While psychoanalysis seeks to understand how conflict from the past affects an individual's behavior, behavioral therapy mostly addresses behavior itself. See → nine0003
Classical and Jungian method of psychotherapy
FIND A PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychodynamic approaches - all areas of therapy based on the theory of psychoanalysis and working with deep mental phenomena.
Let's start diving into the world of the unconscious with classical and Jungian psychoanalysis.
1. Is psychoanalysis about the Oedipus complex?
2. Sigmund Freud - the first healer of souls
3. Terms and concepts of psychoanalysis
4. Psychoanalytic theory
5. Session progress and technique
6. Jungian psychoanalysis
7. Techniques of Jungian psychoanalysis
8. Requests and conditions, duration of psychoanalysis course
9. Case study
10. What to read?
Is psychoanalysis about the Oedipus complex? nine0045
Psychodynamic approaches assume that everything that happens in the human psyche is the result of how its deep unconscious forces interact: our drives, past experiences, beliefs and norms introduced by society, culture and family. Their interaction is not static, but dynamic, that is, changeable. The identification of these influences, awareness and work with them can lead to an improvement in the client's condition, positive changes in the work of the psyche.
The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, considered psychosexuality and the psychic conflicts associated with it to be the driving force behind mental dynamics. Therefore, for many, Freudian psychoanalysis is associated with the Oedipus complex and the Electra complex - the attraction of a child to a parent of the opposite sex, or with the theory of psychosexual stages, which suggests that sexuality is inherent in a child from a very early age. In modern psychoanalysis, these concepts have undergone significant changes. At the same time, a significant part of Freud's theoretical developments, which have received an evidence-based basis, is actively used. nine0045
Sigmund Freud - the first healer of souls
Sigmund Freud was the first researcher who looked into the depths of the human psyche and tried to analyze its processes that had not previously fallen into the field of view of science. In the 1880s, Freud worked as a neurologist in Vienna and Paris, practicing under the guidance of such eminent doctors as Ernst Brücke, Joseph Breuer, Jean-Marais Charcot. Freud dealt with the problems of so-called hysteria (an outdated diagnosis no longer used in medicine) - a disorder of well-being in women, which manifested itself in the form of emotional outbursts and psychotic behavior. He was interested in the fact that not all manifestations of the disease had a physiological basis. In the book "Studies in Hysteria" (1895) he stated the hypothesis: hysterical reactions are based on unpleasant memories or thoughts related to the sexual sphere.
“Hysteria was one of the main ailments that afflicted ladies from the highest circles at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Society required women to hold themselves to high moral standards. At the same time, openness increased: men had access to pornography, prostitution, they liked it. A woman had to remain a decent wife and mother, but at the same time she wanted to be desired by her husband. This caused severe mental stress - and, as its manifestation, the symptoms of hysteria. Freud examined many cases of hysteria and concluded that their main cause was repressed sexuality. He worked with these wealthy women, helped them. This gave him the financial opportunity to develop his theories, his works. At the same time, it made him the first consulting therapist, the first healer of souls.” nine0045
Varvara Negriy, psychoanalyst, lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University. Lomonosov
In 1900 Freud published the monograph "The Interpretation of Dreams". In it, he described his topographic model of the psyche, which includes consciousness, the preconscious and the unconscious. The topographic model suggested that sexual desires are forced into the unconscious by the pressure of social prohibitions. From the unconscious, they can manifest themselves through symbolic dreams. nine0003
At the same time, a circle of followers began to form around Freud, from which the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society was later formed. For many years he pursued a tough ideological policy within the organization, not allowing its members to deviate from the theoretical system approved by him. In different years, Alfred Adler and Carl Jung left the society, who managed to establish their own powerful analytical currents.
Terms and concepts of psychoanalysis
The structural model of the mind was described by Freud in 1923 and was a development of his earlier topographical model.
It, or Id
The unconscious area of the psyche, in which all unconscious human desires are rooted, as well as the two main psychodynamic forces: Eros (life drive) and Thanatos (death drive).
Ego, or I
The conscious part of the personality, which is in contact with reality and the physical world and manifests itself depending on its stimuli. nine0003
Superego, or Superego
Personal component responsible for moral values, ideals, ethical attitudes, inspiration and intuition.
“It is often thought that only the negative accumulates in the unconscious. Not really. It can be the simplest desires, both good and bad. Your desire to eat ice cream is also there. It's just that it's more accessible, it goes into the category of ego more easily. When the unconscious says "I want ice cream", this is brought to some kind of judgment by the Super-I, which, from the point of view of universal human values, determines whether it can be encouraged or not. And if the unconscious says "I want to kill"? Then the questions begin. Our defense mechanisms are concentrated in the Super-I, in the case of such unbridled aggression, the Super-I can resort to the mechanism of sublimation: thus, a person can become a doctor and realize his bloodlust every time he performs an operation. nine0045
Varvara Negriy, psychoanalyst, lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University. Lomonosov
In a situation of mental stress, psychological defense mechanisms are activated - unconscious mental processes that reduce negative experiences and a traumatic effect. Freud introduced the term psychological defense mechanism in his work "Defensive neuropsychoses" (1894).
Displacement of "wrong" drives and emotions into the unconscious. Repressed emotions can manifest themselves in the form of reservations, dreams. nine0003
Substitution (or displacement)
Redirection of energy (anger, libido) to a safe object.
Search for a rational explanation for an act committed under the influence of a momentary impulse or unconscious motivation.
Return to childish forms of behavior in situations of stress or overload.
The direction of inner tension, negative emotions, forbidden desires into creativity or work. nine0045
In total, more than 30 types of defense mechanisms are known to modern psychology.
Psychoanalytic theory and evidence-based research
Not all of Freud's theoretical propositions have been confirmed by the results of scientific research. The following ideas, which are the basis of modern psychoanalysis, have received serious scientific support from numerous studies and meta-analyses:
Unconscious processes affect our behavior
We perceive and process much more information than we realize. Much of our behavior is determined by feelings and motives that we are at best only partially aware of. The influence of the unconscious is so convincingly evidenced that it has become one of the central elements of modern cognitive and social psychology.
We use defense mechanisms
Defense mechanisms help psychological adaptation and maintain our physical health. At the same time, each person has their own “protection style”. Some mechanisms are more useful than others: thus, rationalization and sublimation are more useful than suppression. And denial is literally unhealthy: people who use it tend to ignore worrying symptoms and neglect treatment of illnesses. nine0003
Images of parents can influence our relationships
Dozens of studies have shown that images of parents and other significant figures in our lives do shape expectations about friendships and romantic relationships. The idea that we choose a partner who looks like mom or dad is a myth. However, we do unconsciously gravitate towards building partnerships similar to our relationship with our parents in early childhood.
The theory of classical psychoanalysis has evolved significantly during the 20th and early 21st centuries. Today it is one of the most detailed and researched psychological concepts. nine0045
This material from thoughts that the patient does not appreciate and rejects from himself, is for the analyst an ore from which, with the help of a simple art of interpretation, he can extract the precious metal
- S. Freud psychoanalysis takes place in a conversational format. All techniques used by analysts are aimed at extracting unconscious material to the level of consciousness and working through it. Here are some of them:
Free association method
The therapist asks the client to vocalize everything that pops into his mind, without thinking about the wording and coherence of speech. Statements can be absurd, random: in this case, they reflect what is happening in the unconscious.
Interpretations of dreams
During sleep, the defense mechanisms of the ego are weakened, which reveals the contents of the unconscious in the form of images. The analysis of recurring or vividly remembered dreams can play an important role in the psychoanalytic process. nine0003
After working together, the psychoanalyst explains to the client the essence of his unconscious conflict. Interpretation includes three stages: designating the conflict, clarifying and applying new knowledge to the client's daily life.
Analysis of resistance
The psychoanalyst discusses with the client the mechanisms that prevent them from working together with the unconscious. Resistance refers to all conscious or unconscious actions of the client that interfere with the course of the analysis. nine0003
Analysis of the transference
Transference refers to the client's projection of a figure from the past and his reactions to another person. In the therapeutic process, this person often becomes the psychoanalyst himself, which can provide important insights into the course of therapy. Transference analysis helps the client become aware of their projection and the emotions behind it.
In 1914, one of Freud's closest associates and students, Carl Jung, left the International Psychoanalytic Association and stopped practicing Freudian psychoanalysis. nine0003
There were several reasons for this. First, Jung refused to consider sexual repression and substitution as the central concept of psychoanalysis. The views of the two analysts on dreams were also divided: Freud saw in dreams only projections of repressed sexual desires, while Jung believed that completely different manifestations of the unconscious could be reflected in them. In addition, Jung refused to consider repressed sexuality in childhood as the only cause of mental illness (this concept was insisted on by Freud). nine0003
According to Jung, each person is the bearer of a certain mental structure that has been forming for hundreds and thousands of years. Together with his unique life experience, it forms the personality and characteristics of the human psyche. So, in addition to the psychoanalytic structure of the structure of the psyche (It, Ego, Super-Ego), Carl Jung added the area of the collective unconscious - a system of metaphors common to all mankind and transmitted from generation to generation.
Terms and concepts of Jungian psychoanalysis
The contents of the collective unconscious are archetypes - mental concepts, images and ideas common to different peoples and cultures. Jung identified four individual archetypes that are inherent in each personality:
The mask that a person puts on in different situations (at work, in the family, and so on). A successful manager, a good parent: this image helps to achieve certain results in life, career, communication, but has little to do with what a person really is. nine0045
The "dark" part of the personality that a person cannot accept in himself, but with a certain work on himself, can bring him benefit. For example, suppressed aggression, which, if properly integrated into the personality structure, will help you learn to defend your interests, defend your own position in controversial situations.
Anima (for a man), animus (for a woman)
The feminine aspect in a man's personality, and vice versa, the masculine aspect in a woman's personality. For a man, anima is the energy of creativity, creation, care. For a woman - inner strength, self-confidence. Anima and animus are formed in the course of observing the parent of the opposite sex, and are updated in partnerships. nine0003
The core of the human personality, in Jung's own words, "God is within us." Selfhood means the integrity of realized human potential. The archetype of the self emerges as conscious and unconscious experience is integrated.
In addition to the four basic individual archetypes, Jung described dozens of archetypal images and plots that are reflected in the myths and fairy tales of the peoples of the world. They find manifestation in various life situations. nine0045
“Take the Mother archetype. The figure of the mother, the progenitress is in every culture on earth. At the same time, each individual can fill this archetype with his own semantic and emotional content, which depends on his personal life experience, relationships with his own mother. Archetypes help to meet uncertainty, to clothe it in images, to interpret it. Through archetypes, it is easier for the client to interpret his life situation. You can find a symbol that will become a key, help you find answers to questions. This can be done through dreams, or through your personal history - if you look at it like a fairy tale. What else is useful to work with archetypes? The client is relieved when he realizes that he is not alone in his problem. His life is no exception, the situations he experiences have been with other people since ancient times, and they were dealt with. nine0045
Varvara Negriy, psychoanalyst, lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University. Lomonosov
Jung rethought and actively used the concept of the complex introduced by Freud. According to Jung, everything that evokes a strong emotional response in us is somehow connected with complexes - with mental dominants in the unconscious that have formed over the course of life. In contrast to the philistine idea of the complex as an exclusively negative, painful reaction, in Jungian analysis the complex can be both positive and negative. Awareness and elaboration of complexes play an important role in the process of psychoanalysis. nine0003
The goal of Jungian analysis is the individuation of man. Jung calls individuation the natural movement of the individual towards the unification of conscious experience and an array of unconscious information. Each person in his life follows the path of individuation, however, thanks to psychoanalysis, this process can be significantly accelerated, promoted to advance through the layers of the unconscious to the essence of the human personality - his Self.
Jungian psychoanalysis techniques
Working with archetypes and the unconscious is carried out according to two main techniques: m The amplification technique involves working with dreams in the waking state. With the help of the method of free associations, the client and the analyst comprehend the content of dreams. Archetypal images from myths, legends, art, and literature come to the rescue. Amplification allows you to bring to the surface and organize what was hidden in the unconscious.
9 works in a similar way0013 active imagination technique : here "daydreams" become the material for analysis. The therapist asks the client to concentrate on a certain event, thought, memory, push off from this material and dive into the fantasy based on it. The client is invited to freely develop the plot without looking at the listener, so that later they can analyze the resulting narrative together. The technique of active imagination allows you to integrate the areas of consciousness and the unconscious, comprehend and bring to the surface deep images and archetypes. nine0045
Requests and conditions, duration of the psychoanalysis rate
Psychodynamic approaches are effective for the following states and requests:
9000 9,0002 Problems in personal
and family relationships
In the psychoanalytic method, you can undergo a short-term therapy of 5-10 sessions, aimed at solving a specific life problem. Short-term or focus therapy is devoted to the analysis of one problem and does not go to a deep analysis of the personality. Such therapy is suitable for crisis and emergency situations: job loss, divorce, loss, changes in life. nine0045
“There is an idea that psychoanalysis can last a lifetime. And in general, this is true. Freud said that once a week you need to delve into yourself. This is no longer about solving a certain issue or helping in a certain state, but about noticing and understanding what is happening. The client can stay in therapy for as long as he needs to, as long as he feels the benefit.
If the request is about one single problem, I usually book 5-10 sessions for focus therapy. The problem should be specific: for example, a person is afraid of interviews, cannot change jobs or make another important decision. nine0003
Sometimes a client comes in with one request, but then gets pulled in and stays in full operation. After all, it is incredibly interesting: to observe yourself, to reveal yourself. A fascinating process in which we accompany a person.”
A case from practice
“In my practice, there is an extraordinary case that shows how psychoanalysis can reveal a person's potential. With one of the clients, 28 years old, we worked for more than a year. She was quite successful in business, but the atmosphere of criticism in which she grew up made her feel insecure, doubtful, and often make decisions that were not in her favor. It was obvious that she needed support, which she did not receive. nine0003
In the course of our work, she received a proposal for a deal that was both profitable, but aroused her doubts. Together we worked through the roots of that uncertainty. When the deal went through, she received the amount that gave her financial independence. The girl herself insisted that psychoanalysis played a decisive role here. First of all, of course, this is her personal merit. But I like to think that our work together helped her achieve such results. ”
What to read?
Introduction to psychoanalysis. Lectures.
A book for those who are not afraid to plunge into the deepest ideological layer of psychoanalysis. "Introduction to Psychoanalysis" is a systematic series of lectures by Freud, which reveals the theoretical foundations of classical psychoanalysis and talks about ideas that still cause fierce debate among professionals.
"Man and his symbols".
Carl Gustav Jung
One of the few books that tell in an accessible language about the theory of Jungian psychoanalysis and its basic concepts: the collective unconscious and the archetype system. Aimed at a wide range of readers.
Psychoanalytic diagnostics. Understanding personality structure in the clinical process.
A modern textbook on psychoanalytic work that commands respect even among those members of the scientific community who are skeptical of the system of psychoanalysis as a whole.