The therapy

Catriona Howatson Psychotherapy

The therapy 27th November 2021

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a talking cure characterized by attention to 'boundaries'. The therapy is once or twice a week, for 50 minutes, at the same time and place. This can come as an unpleasant reality that can seem absurd in the high-pressure world of, for example, a senior professional. Why can't I make an appointment when I like, may be when I'm feeling a bit low? Because the meaning of psychotherapy is not to gratify immediate needs; it is to build a context in which needs can be examined and thought about.

A client for time-limited bereavement counselling recently said to me that he thought I was going to 'project-manage' his grief. He lived in world of project-management and it was his approach to everything he did. People also mention 'skills', 'tools' and, rather more desperately, 'ways of coping'. You're almost certainly coping beautifully already. I can't advise you or tell you what to do. Only you know that.

The work of psychotherapy is exploratory, creative and enlightening without being ‘directive’. It aims to shed light on patterns of relating, making links to past experiences, and disentangling the underlying complexities. This therapy aims to provide insight and understanding by getting to 'the heart of the matter'. In this way you can begin to move on, make key changes, and find greater fulfilment in relationships, work and recreation.

Psychotherapists' work is furnished by a knowledge of theory, a knowledge of case history, their own experience and personal psychotherapy, and acute insight and intuition.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is designed for regular, once- or twice-weekly sessions of 50 minutes. It is usually ‘open-ended’ in nature. There is no way of knowing at the start how the psychotherapy is going to proceed. However, time-limited counselling is also available for people who have a clear focus for work over twelve or sixteen or more sessions.

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