The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

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According to Prochaska and Norcross, (1999) psychodynamic psychotherapy is a form of treatment that provides relief to persons experiencing emotional pain. This type of treatment is conducted through verbal communication between the therapist and the patient. This treatment analyses the patient’s emotional problems by addressing the patient’s unconscious motives as well as his inner conflicts. This is a shared characteristic between psychodynamic physiotherapy and psychoanalysis. However, the former differs from the latter in terms of the causes of the unconscious motives and conflicts. Psychodynamic psychologists do not agree with the Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis, as he argues the causes of the emotional problems are sexual (Bornstein, 2001). I ultimately disagree with the Freudian theory on this basis, but I have to acknowledge that psychodynamic psychotherapy therapy techniques and methods are derived from psychoanalysis.

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Psychodynamic psychotherapy treatments may vary in terms of the method of treatment in achieving specific goals. The treatment may take the form of expressive therapy or supportive therapy. The expressive therapy’s main goal is to bring about emotional relief by bringing forth the patients feelings and thoughts that are not within the constraints of his awareness patterns. They are slowly developed and brought to his conscience mind. In most cases, expressive physiotherapy addresses the issues of the patient’s childhood that, affect the patient’s adult life. On the other hand, immediate distress is relieved through supportive therapy treatment method. This approach is taken when there is a need to return the patient to his normal level of functionality. Supportive methods in strengthens the way the individual normally adapts when dealing with different issues. The methods are integrated depending on the therapeutic need as supportive therapy may use elements of expressive therapy and vice versa. (Prochaska, and Norcross, 1999)

The scheduling of the patient’s sessions of psychodynamic psychotherapy is on a weekly basis for one to three days each week. The patients requiring in-depth treatment are allocated more days in the week. The duration of the sessions may differ, but the standard time may range for 40 to 50 minutes per session. The process of treatment kicks off with the evaluation period. This period entails the patients and the therapist’s discussions with regard to the need and reasons of treatment. At this stage, the therapist will analyze the individual and strive to understand the troubles one has. Development of Ideas on the treatment methods also takes place. At this point the length of sessions and frequency of the sessions will be determined as well as the modes of payment.

The therapeutic dyad in medicine entails how the patient relates to his therapist and vice versa. According to Prochaska and Norcross, (1999) this relationship is a major aspect of the treatment, as it will determine whether the patient’s behaviors unfold or not. The treatment is ultimately dependant on the patient’s ability to speak freely. This information is the basis of the therapists work.

Treatment will continue to such a point where in the view of the therapist the patient is constantly responding to the greater insight through adaptive methods. The end of the therapeutic relationship in most cases depends on the patient. Some patients are satisfied with meeting the initial goal of the treatment, while some are inspired by the positive experience and they seek further treatment to achieve more adaptive changes. (Prochaska, and Norcross,1999)


Bornstein, R. (2001). The Impending death of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Psychology, vol 18, 3–20

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Prochaska, O., and Norcross, C. (1999). Systems of Psychotherapy: A Transtheoretical Analysis. 4th edition. Pacific Grove: Cole Publishing Company.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 24). The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 24). The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

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"The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy." PsychologyWriting, 24 May 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy'. 24 May.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy." May 24, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy." May 24, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "The concept of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy." May 24, 2022.