A new approach to Psychotherapy which is currently becoming more and more popular is known as Dynamic Psychotherapy. Dynamic Psychotherapy utilizes some techniques of traditional psychotherapies. However, the therapist is supportive and may provide advice as opposed to being detached and not giving advice, as in many traditional psychotherapies.
Dynamic Psychotherapy also focuses much more specifically on present problems rather than delving into the past and re-examining past conflicts. Because of its orientation, Dynamic Psychotherapy has provided substantial improvement to most patients in a relatively short period of time, such as months and even weeks. This quick progress is also in contrast to much traditional psychotherapy, which may last for years with little or no progress.
In addition, Dynamic Psychotherapy has often been successful for persons who had been in therapy before but had not received help from these other treatments. Dynamic Psychotherapy also appeals to those who wish to go into therapy but are reluctant because of their fear of investing astronomical amounts in their therapy or their being in therapy for a very long time before seeing progress.
How Dynamic Psychotherapy can be useful?
Dynamic Psychotherapy has been very successful in treating a number of common problems, including anxiety, relationship problems, work, and school difficulties, career decisions, and lack of self-esteem and other identity problems. To illustrate how some situations are handled in Dynamic Psychotherapy as opposed to traditional psychotherapies, we can look at three examples, two of which occurred recently and one which occurred several years ago.
In the first example, a woman in therapy had been considering returning to school but had doubts about her ability to concentrate and handle the course material. As the therapist, I asked her whether the program permitted a student to attend on a part-time basis.
The woman said that part-time study was permitted so I advised her to take one or two courses the first semester and see how she felt with this limited course work before determining whether she wished to attend full-time.
The school program has not yet begun, but the woman has seemed very calmed by my advice and it appears as though she will try this suggested approach. Of course, it is important when giving guidance or advice that the Dynamic Psychotherapist is clearly focused on the goals and needs of the person in treatment rather than imposing the values of the therapist.
Thrown the ball back into the court:
As opposed to dynamic Psychotherapy, in traditional psychotherapies, this situation would likely have been handled quite differently by the therapist. The therapist likely would have ‘thrown the ball back into the court” of the person in therapy and asked him or her to explore in some detail their feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy with respect to returning to school.
This may be helpful in the long run but may also take many sessions, cost a lot of money, and may not even be necessary. After a semester of part-time study, the person’s confidence may be boosted to the extent that several or even a few sessions on this topic are not at all necessary.
Effective for self-esteem:
A second example concerns a woman who recently called and asked how Dynamic Psychotherapy could help with her problem of low self-esteem. I told her that if she began therapy with me that I would ask her about some of the specific situations in which she felt her low self-esteem.
I also said that I would be interested in hearing about some things she wanted to do but felt that she could not because of her low self-esteem. After this brief explanation, the woman immediately asked me to schedule an appointment for her.
Focus on a specific problem:
This example illustrates how Dynamic Psychotherapy as opposed to may traditional psychotherapies, tries to quickly focus in specific problem areas and begin to get persons, with the help of a supportive therapist, to deal with these problems to improve mental wellbeing.
Pros and cons:
Finally, there is the case of a man who came to Dynamic Psychotherapy after having been in traditional psychotherapies for a few years. One of the problems he had been struggling with was masculinity and being a man.
The Dynamic Psychotherapist said, in their first discussion of this topic, “A man is a person of the male gender with all of his feeling and, also, a woman is a person of the female gender with all of her feelings. After this explanation, the man in treatment never felt the need to discuss this topic again in therapy; it was a resolved issue.
In addition, this man stopped treatment after he was in Dynamic Psychotherapy for approximately six months (on a once a week basis) because he felt so much better and that he no longer needs the therapy. Previously he had been in traditional psychotherapy for approximately three years on a twice a week basis, plus group. He said he had improved only slightly from all of that traditional psychotherapy.
In this example, Dynamic Psychotherapy and most traditional psychotherapies share the belief that a person should have all of his or her feelings.” However, that this belief would emerge from the therapist in response to the question of what it is to be a man is probably much more likely to have occurred in Dynamic rather than traditional psychotherapy. In Dynamic Psychotherapy, the willingness of the therapist to readily express viewpoints and opinions can often substantially speed up the treatment process.
Dynamic Psychotherapy sessions are usually held on a once a week basis, as this is all that is usually necessary to bring about quick progress. Sometimes sessions are even held less frequently.