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Psychodynamic Approach to Therapy

Psychodynamic approach to therapy

In this article we will be taking a closer look at the psychotherapeutic model known as psychodynamic therapy. While these two are often used interchangeably in popular media, it is important to state upfront the differences between psychodynamic therapy and psychoanalytical therapy.

The relationship between these two approaches can be described as their being like “two peas in a pod.” While psychodynamic therapy is targeting patient’s unconscious and is based on psychoanalytical theory it is still a completely independent approach to treatment.

Why is this important? There is an interdependence between the dynamics of psychodynamic and psychoanalysis therapy that can be confusing. In order to better understand the psychodynamic approach lets start with some basic facts.

Psychoanalysis: Rooted in the early works of Sigmund Freud and his research in the area of the human mind, psychoanalytic theory caused revolution in early-20th century psychology. In his theory, Freud postulated that the human mind has three areas in which it functions; the superego (the conscious), the ego (the unconscious), and the id (the sub-conscious).

In order to become a healthy adult person must move through a series of developmental stages. The tasks and the person’s ability to meet those tasks is stored in the id. When an adult is troubled by unexplained thought and behaviors, it is through the application of psychoanalytical therapy that the cause can be identified.

Here are some of the important aspects of psychoanalytical therapy:

Psychoanalytic Therapy: Unconscious vs. Subconscious Mind

Psychoanalytic Therapy: Unconscious vs. Subconscious Mind

Within the world of psychoanalytic theory resides what has become the accepted classical view of the human mind; a three tier system where human experience is processed. It consists of the conscious, the unconscious and subconscious areas of the human mind. Each area are part of a three layer system that make up the mind. The psychoanalytic therapy deals with unconscious mind and its influences on our behaviors and thoughts, by detecting and resolving conflicts buried deep inside patient’s unconscious mind the therapy process helps alter problematic behavior and though patterns. To understand how therapy works we need to first explore Freud’s 3-tier model of human mind.

Conceptually, this can easily become confusing for many. We can dispense of the conscious mind quite easily. It is an area where there is an awareness of thought and behavior. Nothing too mystical going on here. This leaves us with the subconscious and the unconscious elements of the mind.

Which area serves what function and in what ways are they dependent and independent of each other? In this article we will clarify the functions of the unconscious and subconscious mind. Based on the hypothetical assignment of roles in the system of the human mind it is constructed in the following manner: