Psychodynamic Therapy Melbourne

Psychodynamic Therapy is an effective experiential treatment that can help people to process the source of their issues. If you are looking for psychodynamic Therapy in Melbourne please read through to learn more.


Psychodynamic Therapy Melbourne

Psychodynamic Therapy is an effective experiential treatment that can help people to process the source of their issues. If you are looking for psychodynamic Therapy in Melbourne please read through to learn more.

Psychodynamic Therapy Melbourne: How this Approach Can Help

At Core Life Psychology we are passionate about psychodynamic therapy. Psychodynamic therapy is a holistic treatment that helps people to explore underlying patterns, themes, emotions, and experience. In particular, Psychodynamic therapy aims to help people build insight in to the nature of their issues. Furthermore, it assists clients in processing emotional experience and working through old wounds, conflicts, and traumas. It is a multifaceted approach and involves open exploration and discussion of a person’s inner world and concerns. It is often a good therapy for people that want to get to the depth of their internal struggles. If you are looking for psychodynamic therapy in Melbourne read through or call on 451 491 395

There is an enormous literature and research base extending from psychoanalytic therapy that has helped to inform psychodynamic therapies. Essentially, the premise of psychodynamic therapy is that unconscious and unresolved forces such as emotion, impulse, needs, conflict, and beliefs are brought in to conscious awareness to be worked through. However, defences aimed at keeping this material out of awareness are often in play, particularly if it is traumatic and painful. So how do these patterns originate and establish themselves?

Psychodynamic Therapy Melbourne: Origins of our Problems

Depending on both early and ongoing life experiences we often develop a range of coping mechanisms.

Both positive and negative experiences, traumas, and relational ruptures influence the psychological states that we come to inhabit. Depending on experience we develop sets of defences that allow us to survive and/or thrive. Psychodynamic therapy aims to understand and process these psychological states to foster change.

At our earliest we are vulnerable beings experiencing a plethora of overwhelming feelings such as anxiety, hunger, frustration, aloneness, and distress. The presence of a caring and attuned other over the course of our development assists us to regulate these states of mind and emotions. However, it is often the case that a parent is perhaps less attuned or worse inflicts harm on the developing child. In a sense during our most vulnerable we may experience acts of commission and/or acts of omission at the hands of others.

Acts of commission are events such as physical and emotional abuse while acts of omission are the absence of interactions (e.g. parental withdrawal, being ignored) that we need to thrive such as love, joy, and connection. These experiences can lead to emotional states such as anxiety, fear, shame, helplessness, and an unbearable sense of aloneness. These difficult and painful experiences often lead to the development of an array of defensive strategies.

Defences: How we Learn to Cope

Defences aim to shut down emotions and experiences that are sensed as being too overwhelming for a parent/or other to deal with or feel. For example, a child might experience healthy anxiety, distress, or sadness to a given experience. However, if a parent reacts with ignorance, criticism, an emotional tirade, or rejection then the child will learn that it is perhaps not quite safe to experience these emotions.

Similarly, a child may learn to shut off positive emotions such as joy and excitement if the significant parent cannot tolerate such feelings. In future instances and given enough repetition the developing child may learn to suppress and deny such feelings. In effect, internally doing the same thing to themselves that the parent has repeated in the past.

Defences are core features of our psychological world. They help to reduce distress, anxiety, and other unwanted emotions. However, they become problematic when they are switched on excessively and continue to operate later in life. Furthermore, we might fail to move in life, and become stuck in repetitive self-defeating cycles.

How these Patterns Impact Life

As noted defence patterns developed in upbringing can come at an exorbitant cost later in life. Essentially what was put in place at one point in time may no longer be needed or might fail to work effectively.

In adulthood, a person might find themselves cut off from deeper feeling, aliveness, connection and intimacy with others. Having learnt to suppress and deny such feelings and experiences an adult may find themselves battling symptoms of anxiety, depression (hopelessness/helplessness), shame, and aloneness.

We can conceptualise an upside down pyramid or triangle where the two upper corners represent our anxiety and defences. In the bottom part of the triangle is emotional experience (painful, useful, positive). Our anxiety and defences when operating act to keep the emotional content from the bottom part of the triangle out of awareness.

Another analogy is an iceberg, the underlying emotions and experience are there – but just keep out of awareness beneath the surface. These underlying emotions have the potential to keep tipping our experience out of balance unless processed and worked through.

For example, defences (e.g. detachment, keeping busy, intellectualization, suppression, alcohol use) might have been established over time to keep out deep aloneness or criticism from childhood. However, in adulthood, these defences still act to bury that emotion and keep a distance from people.

Linked to the emotion of aloneness is actually a healthy need and longing to relate and connect. However, this person not learning that it is safe to connect might then keep distracted with work and remain at a distance from people. Therapeutic input helps this person to reconnect in a safe way, process feelings of aloneness and take notice of healthy desires to connect. The scenarios and examples can go on. Usually, people develop a sense that something needs to be worked through or there is more to life in terms of relationships and feeling. Overall, psychodynamic therapy can be a great start to explore these patterns.

Psychodynamic Therapy Melbourne: Get Started Today

Psychodynamic therapy is a collaborative process aimed at creating change and transformation in a person’s life. It is usually our very symptoms but also our innate striving for change and live a better life that brings a person to the therapeutic door.

It is the subsequent therapeutic process that aims to disentangle, realign, calm, balance, secure, and re-order. The therapeutic relationship and space serves as a platform where hopefully a client can grow and transform. A combination of qualities such as attunement, safety, and validation serve as important catalysts in our pathway to transformation.

We can think of a knotted muscle (neuro-psychological pathways) that we are essentially working to release, whilst restoring flow. Defences often pack together tightly creating a sense of being stuck or stagnant. Anxiety and defences can even manifest as tension throughout the muscles in the body. As such we often talk about unpacking, unblocking, softening and unlocking defences. When we achieve this we can often allow emotion and other experience to be worked through. Furthermore, in doing so there might can often be a sense of relief, realization, healing, and calm.

It is within this process that Psychodynamic Therapy helps people to understand, regulate, and reduce their symptoms of distress but to to also access and construct more adaptive experiences of the world and the self. If you need psychodynamic therapy in Melbourne or around Australia feel free to call on 0451 491 395.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

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Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy

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