Mick Herbert Therapy

About Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived. But if faced with courage, need not be lived again."

Differences in therapeutic modalities and styles can be confusing. Let’s demystify things a bit.

Over five years, I trained as a psychodynamic psychotherapist. It’s sometimes viewed as the most orthodox, or conventional, of the talking therapies. And the evidence now is that it’s effective for a wide range of problems.

The psychodynamic approach has its roots in psychoanalysis (Freud et. al), and the widely-accepted idea that experiences from the past may influence your present. There’s greater public awareness of the lasting effects of childhood damage. We know now that responses to this damage can set up unhelpful patterns of being and relating which we continue into adult life, sometimes unconsciously.

Often, we repeat mistakes and painful relationships until we feel so bad we have trouble carrying on. By understanding the past, and allowing a space for today’s difficult feelings, therapy can enable a positive move into the future. The psychodynamic approach also gathers up any unconscious processes at play. We may reflect on how things go between us, too – how you experience me, and how I experience you. We’re building insight. Getting to know you.

All this – the creative heart of the work – is to encourage the lifelong, often unconscious process of unpacking potential. It’s about opening, widening, softening – and it’s hugely optimistic. And symptoms – whatever doesn’t feel “right” at the moment – hold clues, pointing towards recovery. We’ll meet each week and run over what’s been happening for you. It can be challenging, rewarding – and terrific fun, this unfamiliar, rather singular encounter. Psychotherapy asks that we make time to play, to not know – something interestingly counter-cultural in a western world determined on certainty.