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Psychodynamic Therapy Can Facilitate Recovery

There are many types of therapy that are available today. In the early 1900’s, however, when the idea of therapy was just beginning to develop, a person sat in front of a therapist and simply talked about their concerns. It was the “talking cure” as Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, called it.

Today, you can find all sorts of types of therapy, each having a different area of focus or intent. However, there are a few common forms of therapy that you’ll find in addiction treatment, including:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This form of therapy changes thinking and belief patterns to help prevent someone from acting out based on a negative thought or belief. CBT  works well with anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, eating disorders, and addiction.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This form of therapy is particularly successful with Borderline Personality Disorder, eating disorders, conduct disorders, and addictions. It uses mindfulness techniques along with learning healthy coping tools to adjust to life in healthy ways.

Psycho-education – This is any form of education that has to do with learning about one’s diagnosis, its causes, and how it is treated. Psycho-education about addiction might also include learning how the brain is affected by the illness.

Psychodynamic therapy is another type of therapy. Although it is not always included addiction treatment. Nonetheless, it has been incredibly useful for those who participate in it. This type of therapy uses the unconscious parts of a person to help them heal and repressed memories, experiences, or feelings. A psychodynamic therapist does this by helping a person develop more self-awareness. Through this self awareness a client can make new choices, feel better about themselves, and/or make changes in their life. A psychodynamic therapist might explore the following:

  • the level to which a person is in touch with their feelings
  • feelings that a client may not be aware of
  • the depth at which those feelings are buried in the unconscious
  • any pain that might be buried
  • the tolerance and/or resilience that a person has to repressed feelings

One of the biggest benefits to this type of therapy is that a person can gain greater answers about the issues they may be currently facing. For instance, he or she may come to understand the feelings that might have driven them to drink. A person might also uncover the experience that initially triggered those feelings.

It’s important to note that this type of therapy recognizes that the past can directly affect the present, even if a person is consciously aware of it. Psychodynamic therapy can benefit a person by giving them a better understanding of why they are behaving the way they are or why they are experiencing certain feelings.

Because this kind of therapy can take longer to see results, it is not always involved in addiction treatment. However, it is most certainly worth the cost and patience it requires. If you’re in recovery from addiction (especially if you also have a mental illness), this form of therapy might yield great results.

If you are currently struggling with an addiction, contact a mental health professional for immediate support.

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