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Introduction to Psychodynamic Therapy. Lyn Siegel, MPH, MSW, LCSW 51 Main St. Suite 12 Clinton, NJ 08809 908-586-3254 e-mail Web: General Approaches of Psychological Theories. Psychodynamic. Behavioral. Cognitive.

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introduction to psychodynamic therapy

Introduction to Psychodynamic Therapy

Lyn Siegel, MPH, MSW, LCSW

51 Main St. Suite 12

Clinton, NJ 08809




general approaches of psychological theories
General Approaches ofPsychological Theories












sigmund freud s major contributions to psychodynamics
Sigmund Freud’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Structure of Personality: ID, EGO, super-ego
  • The most comprehensive theory of personality and psychotherapy ever developed
  • Concepts of the conscious, preconscious and the unconscious
sigmund freud s major contributions to psychodynamics6
Sigmund Freud’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Clinical Evidence for postulating the unconscious (which can not be studied directly)
    • dreams
    • slips of the tongue
    • forgetting
    • posthypnotic suggestions
    • material from free-association techniques
    • the symbolic content of psychotic symptoms
sigmund freud s major contributions to psychodynamic therapy
Ego-defense mechanisms



reaction formation









Sigmund Freud’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamic Therapy
sigmund freud s major contributions to psychodynamic therapy8
Sigmund Freud’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Psychosexual stages
    • oral
    • anal
    • phallic
    • latency
    • genital
sigmund freud s major contributions to psychodynamic therapy9
Sigmund Freud’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Important to Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers:
    • Transference
      • projecting feelings from the past on the therapist as a significant figure of the past
    • Counter-transference
      • seeing yourself in a client
      • meeting your own needs through a client
overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Other names for Psychodynamic psychotherapy
    • Psychoanalytic psychotherapy
    • Exploratory psychotherapy
    • Insight oriented therapy
overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy11
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • General approach
    • historical focus: interpretations or observationsare based on the client’s history
    • always based on the transference--patient/therapist relationship
  • It’s assumptions
    • unconscious mind exists
      • holds painful feelings
        • we avoid thru our defenses
      • Needs, drives and feelings motivate behavior
overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy12
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Goals
      • make client’s problem clear (elucidate)
      • understand defense mechanisms and transference responses
  • Techniques used (origins in Freud)
    • therapeutic alliance
    • free association
    • defense and transference interpretation

Bring unconscious conflict to awareness

= emotional insight

overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy13
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Therapists’ role
    • unconditional acceptance
    • make interpretations
overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy14
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Duration/frequency
    • months to years
      • longer term: open-ended
      • 1-3 x weekly
    • brief therapy techniques growing
      • 1 x week
overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy15
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy



Repressed childhood conflicts, Id

content, ego activity

Bringing conflict to conscious

awareness overcome


Less emphasis on sexual and aggressive drives

Less emphasis on unconscious info

More emphasis on past relationships

Differences in Assumptions and Focus

overview of psychodynamic psychotherapy16
Overview of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy



Offshoot of the

psychoanalytic school

Interpretation is main tool

Mediator, a conscience,

and a devil

all adult problems

can be traced back to


interaction of ego, superego, id

Differences in Assumptions and Focus

carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Theory of the mind/psyche (psyche = the personality as a whole), ego-the organizer of the conscious mind:
  • Theory of archetypes
  • Theory of dynamics of the psyche: principle of opposites, principle of equivalence, principle of entropy
  • Theory of synchronicity
carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics18
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Important concepts
    • complexes (a feature of the personal unconscious in which groups of contents clump together)
    • individuation (the process by which the consciousness of a person becomes individualized or differentiated from other people)
carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics19
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Understanding of the human personality
    • Psychological typology
      • attitudes = introversion/extroversion
      • the functions = thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition
carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics20
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Human development, especially in middle age
  • A spiritual approach
carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics21
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • That the personality is also based on who we want to become, rather than just the past (movement toward self-actualization)
  • Dreams as an attempt to express rather than repress
carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics22
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • An archetype is the content of the collective unconscious.
    • The persona: our public image, a mask (or public face) that we wear to protect ourselves.
    • Shadow: represents our dark side, the thoughts, feelings, and actions that are socially reprehensible and that we tend to disown by projecting them outward.
carl jung s major contributions to psychodynamics23
Carl Jung’s Major Contributions to Psychodynamics
  • Archetypes (con’t)
    • Anima/ animus
    • Syzygy: divine couple. wholeness and integration. The opposites of the inner and outer life are joined in marriage.
    • Mother: the nurturing one
carl jung s major contribution to psychodynamics
Carl Jung’s Major Contribution to Psychodynamics
  • Archetypes (con’t)
    • Father: guide or authority figure
    • Child: a pattern related to the hope and promise for new beginnings.
other disciplines in psychodynamic psychotherapy
Other Disciplines in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Adlerian
  • Object relations/ Psychoanalytic self psychology (Kohut)
  • Ego psychology
  • Psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy
  • Transactional analysis-Berne
individual adlerian psychology
Individual (Adlerian) Psychology
  • Underlying is a theory of personality, psychopathology, and psychotherapy
  • His theory is connected to a humanistic philosophy of living
    • Core premise: the extent of feeling of community (connectedness) is both an index and goal of mental health
  • Holds philosophical ideals as therapeutic goals for individuals and groups
individual adlerian psychology27
Individual (Adlerian) Psychology
  • Techniques: analysis of birth order, coping patterns, early memory work
  • Systems view
    • Within the systems context: 3 key life tasks-vocation, love, and sex
    • These and our relationships are social challenges
    • First system: family-the origin of our world view and attitude toward life
individual adlerian psychology28
Individual (Adlerian) Psychology
  • “Fictional finalism”- a central goal guiding a person behaviors
    • “Only when I am perfect can I be secure”
    • “Only when I am important can I be accepted”
individual adlerian psychology29
Individual (Adlerian) Psychology
  • Treatment
    • Brief, couple, family
    • Goals: Connected-ness, self-development, contribute to others’ welfare
    • Correct mistaken assumptions, attitudes, behaviors and feelings about the world
    • Objective: redirect self-focused behaviors toward social contribution
psychoanalytic self psychology kohut
Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (Kohut)
  • Emphasizes empathy
  • “Empathy is used to describe an intrapsychic process in the therapist by which an understanding of the patient, particularly an emotional understanding, a capacity to feel what the other is feeling is enhanced. Situated somewhere between listening and interpreting, empathy serves as a precondition for both.”-Berger 1987

Empathy: The power of entering into the

experience of or understanding objects or

emotions outside ourselves

psychoanalytic self psychology kohut31
Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (Kohut)
  • Understanding and explanation ( interpretative process) are offered from the client’s perspective
  • Prevailing form of psychoanalysis in Europe
psychoanalytic self psychology kohut32
Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (Kohut)
  • Revolutionary departure from the “biological model”
  • Kohut claimed it would form a framework in which
    • Empathetic, subjective methods were overiding
    • Other methods could be used
    • Distinctions between psychiatry and psychology were no longer relevant
ego psychology
Ego psychology
  • Groundwork
    • Anna Freud-building blocks of defense theory
    • Erikson-Psychosocial stages
      • Emphasized ego’s role in development
      • Focuses on social influences throughout the life span
      • Deals with early AND later developmental stages
ego psychology34
Ego psychology
  • Heinz Hartmann-leader of ego therapy
    • It’s really structural theory-ego therapist interested in all aspects--incl ID
      • the preservation of Freud’s drive theory
    • emphasizes the centrality of the ego
  • Focuses on the ego’s workings in creating defenses rather than focusing on the underlying id content
  • Engages the patient, less emphasis on uncovering hidden secrets, more on psychic structure-i.e the relationships between the id, the ego, and superego (Mitchell and Black-1995)
ego psychology35
Ego Psychology
  • Heinz Hartmann: the father of Ego Psychology
    • Studied”the ways in which the Ego organizes itself, adapts, and deploys ID drives
    • Contributions:
      • neutralization (rather than sublimation)-the ego strips the drives of their sexual and aggressive qualities changing their nature-e.g like a power plant
      • notion of “ a child born with an innate potential that unfolds naturally in a receptive environment” and “average receptive environment”- Mitchell and Black 1995
  • Brown D, Pedder J, Introduction to Psychotherapy, Tavistock/Routledge, 1991
  • Covey, Gerald. Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Brook/Cole, 2001
  • Mitchell SA and Black MJ, Freud and Beyond-A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought: The Perseus Books Groups, 1995
  • Ursano RJ, Sonnenberg SM, Lazar SG, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: American Psychiatric Press, 1991
  • Hall CS, Nordby SH, A Primer of Jungian Psychology: Penguin Group, 1973
  • http//
  • http://meagerlab.tamu.esu/M-Meagher/Intro/TREATMENT.html