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Psychodynamic therapy focuses on uncovering or understanding a
person's past to gain insight into current actions and behavior. This technique
assumes that problems with behavior are caused by internal conflicts that the
person is not consciously aware of.
Psychodynamic therapy assumes that everyone has an unconscious
mind (the subconscious) and that feelings held in the unconscious mind are
sometimes too painful to face. So people protect themselves by
unconsciously covering up or not acknowledging these painful feelings (denial).
This therapy aims to identify the defenses being used unconsciously as
protection from past hurts. After these hurts and defenses have been identified, the person should
feel less emotional pain and can learn to use better coping mechanisms.
The treatment lasts from several weeks to several years depending
on how bad the past issues are. Psychodynamic therapy may be helpful in
treating certain conditions, such as depression and borderline personality
disorder, that involve personality and relationship problems.
March 14, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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