Psychodynamic therapy helps clients understand how some of their present ways of coping, which may make no “rational” sense, and which may in fact be self-defeating or limiting, can be part of a strategy adopted in childhood. The strategy may have been enormously effective back then, or just the best they could do under their circumstances. But chances are there are much better ways of coping now. In searching for the roots of problems, the goal is not to dredge up painful memories. We go back in order to go forward.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy places an emphasis on the relationship between the therapist and the client. Certain old relationship patterns will repeat themselves in the therapy setting, offering a vivid, here and now opportunity to take a close look at them together. Having an old experience, in a new place, with a therapist listening emphatically, objectively and without criticism, can be enormously curative. Repeated positive experiences with the therapist can be expanded into other relationships.