Psychodynamic psychotherapy

What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are types of individual psychotherapy which attempt to explore the influence of a person’s previous emotional experiences on their current mental state, particularly in the context of the ‘transference’ of feelings from one focus to another. The methods employ free association, recall and interpretation of dreams, and exploration of ‘resistance’ to recovery. This is a controversial approach that has gained more support since the inclusion of other elements, such as supportive and directive techniques. However, they are usually only used in the treatment of schizophrenia when they are integrated into a multi-modal treatment program, incorporating other evidence-based pharmaceutical and psychosocial interventions.

What is the evidence for psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Low quality evidence is unclear as to the benefit of individual psychodynamic psychotherapy compared to medication or to other psychosocial treatments for mental state or global outcomes. Review authors conclude that the current data do not support the use of psychodynamic psychotherapy techniques for hospitalised people with schizophrenia and that more trials are required.

June 2019

Last updated at: 4:53 am, 6th June 2019
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