Psychodynamic Therapy

At The Family Place, we tailor our treatment programs to ensure every client receives the support and resources they need to achieve the best outcome possible. We utilize a wide range of therapeutic techniques to meet the needs of every client, including psychodynamic therapy.


Psychodynamic therapy

Therapy sessions incorporating psychodynamic strategies use talk therapy and other methods to reveal connections between firmly held beliefs, unconscious processes, and actions. Social relationships and personal self-growth significantly impact how you navigate recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Psychodynamic therapy can improve how you interact with others and feel about yourself.

What Is Psychodynamic Therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unearthing the root cause of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. Insight into these processes makes it easier to adopt lasting positive lifestyle changes. During sessions, the therapist guides the client through exploring their emotions.

Psychodynamic therapy increases self-awareness by providing a deeper understanding of what causes certain behaviors. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships” that may have contributed to the “desire to abuse substances.” Psychodynamic therapy can identify and treat the underlying causes of behavioral issues like substance misuse and co-occurring mental health conditions.

What to Expect During Sessions

Every case is unique, which means individual experiences with psychodynamic therapy may differ somewhat. Psychodynamic therapy uses the following principles to guide treatment:

  • Unconscious motivation affects behaviors
  • Experience affects personality
  • Personality affects reactions
  • Past experiences continue to impact the present

The therapist actively listens and responds positively and empathetically during sessions to build a healthy relationship. The interaction between client and therapist will make it easier to examine unconscious motivations. Some techniques you may encounter include:

  • Consciousness raising: The client is challenged about their maladaptive or unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns to encourage a more objective view of their past and current behaviors.
  • Contingency control: The client creates new positive images and motivations to replace maladaptive behaviors or thoughts.
  • “Choosing”: The client has the opportunity to walk through various hypothetical scenarios or does homework to practice acting out healthier behaviors and boundaries in the real world.

How Psychodynamic Therapy Affects Recovery

Psychodynamic therapy can improve mood while encouraging healthier thought patterns and sobriety. Individuals treated with this type of therapy learn how the unconscious mind can influence everyday life and emotional health. Knowledge is essential to accepting the need for change.

Substance misuse is often a symptom of emotional or physical distress. Therapists use a psychodynamic approach to analyze and process the cause of that emotional pain. The more you understand how you feel and why you act in certain ways, the easier it is to figure out how to overcome challenges and treat symptoms.

Changing Unconscious Motivations

Choices are often directly influenced by biases not present on a conscious level. During psychodynamic therapy, everyday motivations and personal goals are analyzed to reveal underlying unconscious processes. Addictive behaviors, in particular, may have unconscious motivations that lead to substance misuse as a way to cope with high levels of stress, discomfort, or pain. At The Family Place, our clinicians guide you down a path for healthy change by analyzing what causes you to act or think in specific ways. We accomplish this by doing the following:

  • Challenging long-held beliefs
  • Objectively looking at past behaviors
  • Questioning routines and ingrained behaviors

Therapists use their outside point of view to reveal a more objective perspective that you can use to increase self-awareness. Each session will bring you closer to understanding what led you to substance misuse and how to avoid slipping back into those unconscious patterns in the future.

Recognizing Internal Struggles

Past experiences play a role in how individuals create a sense of self. The internal struggle between unconscious motivations and conscious decisions can be challenging for individuals who have difficulty achieving self-reflection and emotion regulation. Treatment programs like those offered at The Family Place offer individuals in recovery a solid foundation of personal accountability and self-acceptance.

Everyone is ultimately responsible for their own actions. Understanding the process that led to those actions provides an opportunity to create new motivations and remove internal roadblocks that hinder personal growth. The Family Place is here to support you through these significant shifts in thought. You can overcome SUD.

Making Healthier Choices Each Day

Making healthier choices involves recognizing negative or unhealthy thought patterns, behaviors, and routines. Psychodynamic therapy shows you how to identify your own motivations and keeps you questioning your choices so that you can determine if they are in your best interest. A few exercises that you might use during therapy to learn more about your unconscious self include:

  • Inkblot tests
  • Dream analysis
  • Free association
  • Roleplaying
  • Journaling

Openly and honestly discussing the effects of choices and how unconscious processes can affect day-to-day decisions is a crucial part of psychodynamic therapy.


Benefits of Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is successful after only a short period, making it attractive for individuals undergoing treatment for SUD. Most rehabilitation programs last for weeks or months, which is plenty of time to make progress using this form of therapy. In addition to being well suited for shorter periods of treatment, it offers the following benefits:

  • Lowers stress levels
  • Decreases symptom severity
  • Enhances emotion processing

Psychodynamic therapy provides greater insight and makes it possible to identify maladaptive behaviors.

The Family Place provides a wide range of healing treatments to support individuals struggling with addictive behaviors. We offer psychodynamic therapy to individuals who benefit from exploring how their unconscious processes affect everyday life and the development of substance use disorders. To speak with a qualified admissions representative today, call us today at 1-800-501-7796.

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