Psychodynamic psychotherapy is sometimes what people think of when they have the caricature of Sigmund Freud, smoking a cigar, asking his patients who are lying on the couch to say whatever comes to mind. In reality, this form of what is often called 'depth' or talk therapy has evolved considerably since Freud, and represents a rich tradition and way of thinking and being. I have a particular interest/passion in teaching and practicing this form of psychotherapy mostly because I have witnessed deep, enduring changes among the clients I have worked with using this approach.
While it may sound mysterious, one way to understand this type of treatment is that it has several aims:
1) To make available unconscious motivations, patterns, and feelings that might be interfering with the way one wants to live his/her life.
2) To experience in therapy a different way of relating with someone that offers an opportunity to examine previous relationships, needs, and expectations of others.
3) To offer insight and greater awareness of who one is as a person, and how to make meaning out of one's experiences.
My background and training in this tradition includes more contemporary approaches that take into account the idea that as a therapist and client we are both contributing to our interactions. In other words, we are two people in a relationship with one other and I bring a curiosity, humility and willingness to share my experience of our interactions. Through it all I am your therapist, but I do not have a privileged or authority position when it comes to the human journey we are embarking on together.
If you are interested in learning more about what this kind of treatment may have to offer, I suggest the following references written and informed by my colleague Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D.