Lesson 3: Dynamic Psychotehrapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a product of the evolution and modernization of psychoanalysis, which originated with the work of Dr. Sigmund Freud in the late nineteenth century. It is one of many types of therapy used by mental health practitioners today. Generally speaking, therapy is both a way of understanding human emotions and of helping people with their relationships and their personal problems. In psychodynamic psychotherapy, specific problems are viewed in the context of the whole person. The mature or rational self that functions more or less successfully in the real world is only a part of the total person. The more immature, irrational, or unconscious self functions silently in the background to produce various symptoms and maladaptive behaviors that often intrude into the person’s social life, personal relationships, school or work activities, and physical health. Because of the importance of addressing both the conscious and unconscious parts of the self, a compassionate quest for self- knowledge is seen as the most important key to changing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to living a fuller, more satisfying life.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is based on the insight that our personalities are the result of passing through and solving relationship issues at many developmental stages. At any stage, the way we have reacted to events in our lives may have caused us to get stuck at a certain level of insight or problem solving. While we go ahead and mature satisfactorily, in many ways we may carry within us the parts that didn’t have a chance to develop. We can have a mature exterior and be functioning more or less successfully, while internally we may feel vulnerable, confused, depressed, angry, afraid, and childlike. We may not feel able to bounce back from rejection, get past blocks, allow our real feelings to surface, or stay in touch with our feelings and desires. Our physical health may be compromised in many ways by emotional and relationship issues.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is designed to help the client get in touch with her or his unconscious memories, feelings, and desires that are not readily available to the conscious mind. It is designed to help clients of all ages understand how their unconscious feelings and thoughts affect the ways they act, react, think, feel, and relate. Whether or not therapy works depends a great deal on the client’s willingness and ability to experience all relationships deeply, especially the therapeutic relationship. Each client, by expressing her or his story in whatever ways possible to someone who knows how to listen and to give new meanings back, has the opportunity to learn about herself or himself in a new way.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy can provide a safe place for people to discover for themselves their own truths. It provides a unique opportunity to re-experience personal history in a new relationship, to see it in a new way, and to make connections between past and current conflicts that illuminate the way one relates to oneself and to others. Clients are encouraged to talk about thoughts and feelings that come up about therapy or about the therapist. These feelings are important because elements of one’s earliest affections and hostilities toward parents and siblings are often shifted onto the therapist and the process of therapy. This phenomenon, known as “transference,” offers a rich source of understanding, for it offers the possibility for people to re-experience and re-work important feelings arising from the past with the maturity they possess in the present.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is usually not a short-term therapy as it takes time to explore the complex layers of feeling and experience that make up a person’s own unique relationship history. People find that their therapy can easily extend for several years but there is no prescribed length of treatment. Only the people closely involved have a sense of when personal goals have been met. When the client feels she or he has accomplished the desired goals, then a termination date can be set and agreed upon. Psychodynamic psychotherapy aims to help people experience life more deeply, enjoy more satisfying relationships, resolve painful conflicts, and better integrate all the parts of their personalities. Perhaps its greatest potential gift is the essential freedom to change and to continue to grow in relationships.

Treatment of Relational and complex Trauma at Trauma Recovery Institute

Trauma Recovery Institute offers unparalleled services and treatment approach through unique individual and group psychotherapy. We specialise in long-term relational trauma recovery, sexual trauma recovery and early childhood trauma recovery. We also offer specialized group psychotherapy for psychotherapists and psychotherapy students, People struggling with addictions and substance abuse, sexual abuse survivors and people looking to function in life at a higher level. Trauma recovery Institute offers a very safe supportive space for deep relational work with highly skilled and experienced psychotherapists accredited with Irish Group Psychotherapy Society (IGPS), which holds the highest accreditation standard in Europe. Trauma Recovery Institute uses a highly structured psychotherapeutic approach called Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP).

At Trauma Recovery Institute we address three of the core Attachment Styles, their origin’s the way they reveal themselves in relationships, and methods for transforming attachment hurt into healing. We use the latest discoveries in Neuroscience which enhances our capacity for deepening intimacy. The foundation for establishing healthy relationships relies on developing secure attachment skills, thus increasing your sensitivity for contingency and relational attunement. According to Allan Schore, the regulatory function of the brain is experience-dependent and he says that, as an infant, our Mother is our whole environment. In our relational trauma recovery approach you will learn to understand how the early patterns of implicit memory – which is pre-verbal, sub-psychological, and non-conceptual – build pathways in our brain that affect our attachment styles. Clinically, we can shift such ingrained associative patterns in our established neural network by bringing in new and different “lived” experiences in the Here and Now.


The Role of the Therapist in transforming attachment trauma: Healing into wholeness takes the active participation of at least one other brain, mind, and body to repair past injuries – and that can be accomplished through a one-to-one therapeutic relationship, a therapeutic group relationship or one that is intimate and loving. In exploring the “age and stage” development of the right hemisphere and prefrontal cortex in childhood, we discover how the presence of a loving caregiver can stimulate certain hormones, which will help support our growing capacity for social engagement and pleasure in all of our relationships. Brain integration leads to connection and love throughout our entire life span. At trauma recovery institute we bring a deep focus to the role of Neuroscience in restoring the brain’s natural attunement to Secure Attachment. Our brain is a social brain – it is primed for connection, not isolation, and its innate quality of plasticity gives it the ability to re-establish, reveal and expand one’s intrinsic healthy attachment system.


Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP) at Trauma Recovery Institute Dublin

Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP) is a highly structured, once to twice weekly-modified psychodynamic treatment based on the psychoanalytic model of object relations. This approach is also informed by the latest in neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology and attachment theory. As with traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy relationship takes a central role within the treatment and the exploration of internal relational dyads. Our approach differs in that also central to the treatment is the focus on the transference and countertransference, an awareness of shifting bodily states in the present moment and a focus on the client’s external relationships, emotional life and lifestyle.

Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP) is an integrative treatment approach for working with complex trauma, borderline personality organization and dissociation. This treatment approach attempts to address the root causes of trauma-based presentations and fragmentation, seeking to help the client heal early experiences of abandonment, neglect, trauma, and attachment loss, that otherwise tend to play out repetitively and cyclically throughout the lifespan in relationship struggles, illness and addictions. Clients enter a highly structured treatment plan, which is created by client and therapist in the contract setting stage. The Treatment plan is contracted for a fixed period of time and at least one individual or group session weekly.

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“Talk therapy alone is not enough to address deep-rooted trauma that may be stuck in the body, we need also to engage the body in the therapeutic process and engage ourselves as clients and therapists to a complex interrelational therapeutic dyad, right brain to right brain, limbic system to the limbic system in order to address and explore the trauma that persists in our bodies as adults and influences our adult relationships, thinking and behavior.”