What is Psychodynamic therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy is similar to psychoanalytic therapy in that it is an in-depth form of talk therapy based on the theories and principles of psychoanalysis. But psychodynamic therapy is less focused on the patient-therapist relationship, because it is equally focused on the patient’s relationship with his or her external world. Often, psychodynamic therapy is shorter than psychoanalytic therapy with respect to the frequency and number of sessions.
Psychodynamic therapy is primarily used to treat depression and other serious psychological disorders, especially in those who have lost meaning in their lives and have difficulty forming or maintaining personal relationships.
What is Person-Centred therapy?
Person-centred therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgement and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery.
How It Works:
Person-centred therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, originated in the work of the American psychologist, Carol Rogers, who believed that everyone is different and, therefore, everyone’s view of his or her own world, and ability to manage it, should be trusted. Rogers believed that all of us have the power to find the best solutions for ourselves and make appropriate changes in our lives. Person-centred therapy was a movement away from the therapist’s traditional role—as an expert and leader—toward a process that allows clients to use their own understanding of their experiences as a platform for healing. The success of person-centred therapy relies on three conditions:
Unconditional positive regard, which means therapists must be empathetic and non-judgemental to convey their feelings of understanding, trust, and confidence that encourage their clients to make their own decisions and choices.
Empathetic understanding, which means therapists completely understand and accept their clients’ thoughts and feelings.
Congruence, which means therapists carry no air of authority or professional superiority but, instead, present a true and accessible self that clients can see is honest and transparent.
What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a psychological treatment which can help people with depression. It is based on the idea that the way we feel is affected by our thoughts (or ‘cognitions’) and beliefs, and by how we behave.
CBT involves helping people to see how their thoughts and behaviour relate to the way they feel, and how this might contribute to their problems.
Some examples help to show how CBT therapy works in practice:
People who are depressed tend to have negative thoughts (such as ‘I am a failure’). If they never questioned this belief then it’s easy to see how it could contribute to their feeling of depression. Unfortunately feeling depressed makes people more likely to think negatively; as a result they feel even more depressed, and then have even more negative thoughts – it becomes a vicious circle that is hard for them to escape. CBT helps clients notice how the way they think about themselves influences their behaviour and their feelings. It does this by exploring the way the person is thinking, and spotting whether there are alternative ways for them to look at things. In this way the person is in a position to consider the assumptions and beliefs they have about themselves, and see if these have been contributing to their depression.
Sometimes CBT focuses more on helping people change their behaviour. For example, someone who is depressed might have negative thoughts such as ‘no-one could like me’; as a result they stop going out, but this makes them feel lonely, and so more depressed. CBT would support them to start doing activities they enjoy, give them tips about how to cope better in situations they feel worried about, and gradually give them back their confidence.
CBT aims to help people to learn strategies that can help them overcome their own problems, and it usually involves trying out these strategies in real life. Therapists work closely with clients to agree on the areas they want to focus on, and what will be the best way of trying out any ideas – for example, agreeing what they will do, and how quickly they should do it.
What is Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy?
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) is a psychodynamic psychotherapy that can help people with depression.
One of the main ideas in psychodynamic therapy is that when something is very painful we can find ourselves trying to ignore it (it’s a bit like the saying “out of sight, out of mind”). Most of the time we know when we’re doing this, but sometimes we can bury something so successfully that we lose sight of it completely. This is why difficult experiences in the past can continue to affect the way we feel and behave in the present. DIT provides people with a safe place to talk openly about how they feel and to understand what might be causing their difficulties
An example shows how this might work. Someone who was repeatedly rejected by their parents may stop themselves thinking about how painful this is. As an adult they might withdraw from relationships, feeling that it is safer to be alone and not having to depend on anyone. Although not getting close to anyone helps them to feel safer, they might also feel lonely and get depressed as a result.
How would a DIT therapist help such a person?
By helping them to talk freely about themselves it might become clear that whenever someone tries to get to know them, they fear the worst and push them away, just to make sure that no-one ever gets close enough to hurt or disappoint them again. In the course of day-to-day life people don’t necessarily notice how they are behaving or responding to others because this becomes second nature - ‘the way things are’. By drawing their attention to this pattern in their relationships, therapy would help them to understand themselves better and change the way they respond.
What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy in which the person being treated is asked to recall distressing images while generating one type of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping.
EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories and to manage symptoms of mental health conditions such as PTSD.
What is Mindfulness? (currently applicable to on-line mindfulness course)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that uses cognitive behavioural therapy methods in collaboration with mindfulness meditative practices and similar psychological strategies. It was originally created to be a relapse-prevention treatment for individuals with major depressive disorder.
Mindfulness can help you manage your well-being and mental health. It can enable you to:
· Feel less overwhelmed
· Improve your sleep quality
· Positively change the way you think and feel about your experiences (especially stressful experiences)
· Increase your ability to manage difficult situations
· Make wiser choices
· Reduce levels of anxiety
· Reduce levels of depression
· Reduce levels of stress
· Reduce the amount you chew things over in your mind
· Have greater self-compassion