People seek psychological help for many reasons. Some problems are transient and respond quickly to various forms of intervention, while others stubbornly persist. These more entrenched difficulties are often contemporary versions of long-ago conflicts, reverberations of the past in present-day life. The aim of psychoanalytically informed treatment is to discover the meaning in current experience, and thereby to lessen the grip of the past on everyday functioning. The resulting increased flexibility derives not only from the modification of painful psychological symptoms, but also from the cultivation of inner resources such as creativity and increased capacity for emotional satisfaction.
Less extensive and more externally focused than psychoanalysis, patients in psychotherapy typically attend 1-3 meetings a week in an effort to make sense of troubling symptoms and/or to facilitate desired changes.
To learn about some of the benefits of this kind of mental health treatment, see the following article, which offers a meta-analysis of several studies: The Efficacy of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy by Jonathan Shedler, PhD in the American Psychologist, Feb/Mar 2010.
Here is an excellent summary of the efficacy of psychodynamic treatment, "The Merits of Psychodynamic Therapy", from the September 2010 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.
Who benefits from psychodynamic therapy?
People across the lifespan can make use of psychological help. At the beginning of life, unexpected problems can emerge; parents and babies might feel ill matched, or there may be complications that arise from birth or painful past relationships that are stirred in the parents lives. I am specially trained to work with parents and babies to help build a foundation of emotional wellbeing for future generations. Here is some information about parent/infant psychotherapy:
In later life, adults of every age can benefit from a course of psychotherapy, to help resolve difficulties with relationships with oneself and others, to discover and enhance capacities for satisfying, creative work and to ease transitions, even through the final transition at the end of life. Emotional growth can happen at any age.