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How I work:

Psychodynamic therapy is the psychological interpretation of mental and emotional processes.  Rooted in traditional psychoanalysis, it draws from object relations, ego psychology and self-psychology.  It was developed as a simpler, less-intensive alternative to psychoanalysis.  There is a strong emphasis on the therapeutic alliance, the trust between a client and counsellor required to make progress.  The therapy is relationship-centred and non-directive.

Core Principles:

  • The belief that our earliest relationships and experiences impact on how we relate as adults.

  • The view that many internal experiences relate to relationships with other people.

  • The view that we’re not fully aware of why we do what we do and to explore beliefs, thoughts or actions which are subconscious or unconscious.

  • The use of free-association (freely expressing what comes to mind), to help facilitate insight, understanding and the exploration of problems.

  • The exploration of defence mechanisms, repetitions and patterns that have developed over time.


What can Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy help with?

Psychodynamic Counselling essentially seeks to understand and manage “problems of living”.  Although these struggles are ubiquitous aspects of being human, sometimes the stresses and strains of everyday live, traumatic events or other “triggers” can tip the scale away from normal health.  This can result in anxiety, depression, inhibitions, anger, irritability, low self-worth, somatic pre-occupation, lack of confidence, sexual dysfunction, relationship problems, obsessive thoughts, avoidance behaviours, insecurity and not being able to reach one’s human potential.

Left unresolved, these struggles can become more entrenched, tenacious and intricate as life goes on.  It may result in a sense of constant repetition of experience or making the same mistakes over and over, potentially causing angst in an otherwise good life.


It may help you explore:

  • Troubled or destructive relationship patterns (such as family dynamics, couple dynamics, sibling conflicts or dynamics at work).

  • Life transitions (such as becoming a parent, relationship breakdown / divorce, menopause, children leaving home, retirement).

  • Trauma, past or present (such as bereavement, pregnancy loss, birth trauma, abuse/sexual assault, domestic violence, experience of war, being diagnosed with chronic illness, terminal illness or acquired disability).

  • Somatic manifestations of distress (such as chronic fatigue, chronic pain, eating distress, self-harm or addiction).

  • Existential fears (such as questioning meaning and purpose in life, health anxieties, fear of separation or abandonment, fear of loss and death).

  • General feelings of alienation, disconnection, inadequacy, insecurity, self-blame, guilt or shame.

How does it work?  What should I expect?

Psychodynamic therapy works by understanding and acknowledging that current emotional problems may have their roots in past experience, and that experiences have conscious but also unconscious effects on us. Through supportive counselling helps to identify subconscious thoughts and beliefs, and how these affect our behaviour.

This form of counselling relies on the interpersonal exchange between a counsellor and client, in order to establish and develop the insight necessary to create changes.

Appointments are weekly and it is beneficial to keep the appointment day, time and therapeutic environment the same.  Sessions last for 50 mins and will start and finish on time.

Psychodynamic therapy is non-directive, this means that you direct the content and pace of your therapy and not the counsellor. You’re encouraged to talk as freely as possible, expressing thoughts and emotions as they arise.  The therapist is unlikely to talk about themselves.  This is out of respect for the fact that this is YOUR time and not to interfere with your thoughts and feelings. 

Unlike more directive therapies, such as CBT, you will not be told what to do or given tests or “homework” assignments.

How long does it take?

In a fast-paced age, many people wish for a quick fix.  However, with problems of living, short-term treatments may temporarily ease acute discomfort and symptoms, but this may be of limited duration. 


After an initial consultation of exploring your presenting issues with you, we will identify whether this is the most suitable form of counselling for you and for how long you might want to come for.


Your therapy can be time-limited if you want it to be or open ended, depending on your needs, circumstances and preference.

Evidence Base:

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