Psychodynamic psychotherapy: Less popular but effective for treating mental disorders

Psychodynamic psychotherapy: Less popular but effective for treating mental disorders

Looking at the deteriorating mental health of the young and old in the country, health advisors must be in a fix about what best they can do to help the suffering. While the diagnosis is most commonly based on patients’ self-reported symptoms, and the doctor’s knowledge and experience, traditional forms of treatment are focused on behavioural and mood aspects. A combination of psychotherapy, medication and support groups works for many individuals. However, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for all, which opens up a lot of possibilities for improvement of such treatments through research.

As compared to the popular cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy has not gained a lot of attention due to a number of factors, including the fact that it is viewed as being an unscientific and ineffective approach. The other factor that has contributed to its rejection is the reason that it is not convenient for the modern workaholic culture, where emotional development takes a backseat. Summarizing the impact of psychodynamic therapy, Teri Quatman, author of “Essential psychodynamic physiotherapy: An acquired art,” says that it is about getting seriously honest with ourselves and confronting our internal emotional truth. It is not “a fatuous exercise in narcissistic self-examination.”

Focusing on the unconscious to understand the conscious

The American Psychological Association recognizes its efficacy in treating a wide range of mental diseases like depression and anxiety. It states that the psychotherapy stresses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering, promoting self-examination and reflection. Its goal is to not only reduce the severity of the symptoms but also help people lead a healthier lifestyle. Researchers such as Dr. Deborah L. Cabaniss, professor of clinical psychiatry at the center for psychoanalytic training and research in Columbia University, states that it is a type of therapy that identifies the impact of unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours on our conscious lives, providing important insights for treating a particular mental disorder.

On the other hand, research carried out by Jonathan Shedler, from the University of Colorado Denver School Of Medicine, highlighted the benefits of psychodynamic psychotherapy based on a number of factors such as:

  • Focus on affect and expression of emption
  • Attempts to avoid distressing thoughts and feelings
  • Identification of recurring themes and patterns
  • Discussion of past experiences
  • Focus on interpersonal relations
  • Focus on therapy relationship
  • Exploration of fantasy life

A previous study involving 2173 randomized participants with common mental disorders indicated that short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy greatly improved the outcomes. The researchers concluded that the therapy shows modest to large gains for a wide variety of people, although more research is warranted.

Road to recovery

Since mental disorders do not affect everyone in the same manner, it is important to adopt a more comprehensive approach in dealing with the symptoms. Some conditions are best treated with medication alone while some require experiential therapies. Overall, good nutritious diet, physical exercise and mediation help a great deal in relaxing the mind and keeping negative thought away.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from a mental health condition, help is available at the Texas Mental Health Recovery Helpline where experts can assist you with all the required information. You can know about evidence-based facilities in mental health disorders treatment in Texas by calling our 24/7 helpline 866-596-4708. You can chat with one of our trained professionals to find information related to mental health treatment centers in Texas.

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