What is Psychodynamic Counselling?
- It’s a bit of a fancy-sounding word, but please don’t let it put you off! Broadly speaking, the word psychodynamic means that the way that I work is based on the belief that all our experiences, particularly our earliest experiences, (whether or not we can recall them,) strongly influence the way we think of ourselves, expect others to treat us, and shape the way we respond to other people and events in our lives both consciously and unconsciously.
- Psychodynamic counselling seeks to help people better understand themselves and create positive emotional changes in their psyches by making unconscious difficulties conscious.
- My core training and practice is psychodynamic and I believe in this way of working, but you should know that what is far more important than the school of thought/way your counsellor practices is the relationship between yourself and your counsellor – this has been shown to have the greatest therapeutic benefit to clients, more than any one particular theoretical school of thought.
How can Psychodynamic Counselling help me?
welcome to a relationship like no other
I offer you the opportunity to build a confidential therapeutic relationship with me, into which you are invited to bring absolutely any feeling, experience, issue or dilemma for us to think about together.
In return I pledge to respond to whatever you want to bring to our sessions with a genuinely positive, empathic, curious and compassionate attitude, in order to create a safe space for you to think, feel, explore and heal.
help you to shake yourself free of emotional ‘stuck-ness’, situational ‘ruts’ & self-destructive patterns
Many people come to counselling confused as to why they feel emotionally ‘stuck’ and ‘always’ seem to find themselves in similar negative situations, no matter how they try to change, making their lives feel ‘unmanageable.’
Others have a sense of where their difficulties stem from but are at a loss to understand how to release themselves from the power of difficult experiences.
The psychodynamic approach is geared towards helping you to discover meanings behind these difficult, repetitive experiences and patterns.
As these meanings come to light, they create opportunities for you to understand yourself better and in so doing, help you to facilitate positive change, develop a more authentic, satisfying and fulfilling experience of yourself and your life.
build you up when you’re down
There is no such thing as a charmed life – however wonderful other peoples’ lives may seem to you from the outside, bad stuff really does happen to everyone.
When things go wrong, you can be left feeling ‘maybe this is all I really deserve?’
Or you can find that life always seems to feel overwhelming and unmanageable and which can leave you feeling doomed, awful or unworthy.
As a psychodynamic counsellor I aim to help you cultivate so much understanding, love and compassion for yourself that you become super-emotionally resilient, so that that when life throws you down, as it will from time to time, you have the internal reserves to bounce right back.
create time & space for you
Sometimes life can feel hectic – the demands of being an employee, a parent, carer, a spouse/partner etc. can crowd-out your ability to be aware of let alone tend to your own needs.
This happens to most people at one time or another, however if it is allowed to persist, it can eat away at your mental health and impact negatively on your life.
An important part of the way I work is to make as much space in our sessions as possible for you, your feelings and experiences, and to help me do that, in common with other psychodynamic counsellors, I will not usually share personal information about myself with my you during your sessions.
At first that may sound unfriendly, but it really does come from a desire to put you and your wellbeing first – knowing things about me may give you the impression that I will understand you better (or less well,) when in reality common experiences between people are rarely experienced identically, and yet people often respond to others’ troubles by saying:
‘I know exactly how you feel…that happened to me…’
Many people have had the difficult experience of confiding in someone, only to have them seemingly ‘take over’ the conversation – suddenly it’s all about them and it may feel as though your difficulties have been brushed aside and you can end up feeling worse.
Maybe I have had some of the same experiences as you and maybe I haven’t; either way, how I felt about those experiences will have been different to how you feel about yours, and in your sessions, our focus is best placed on what something is like for you.
So, I have found that one of the most effective ways to keep my focus on what you bring is to keep my personal stuff out; for fifty minutes once a week it really is all about you. Doesn’t that sound nice?