What is Psychodynamic Counselling?
Psychodynamic counselling considers the mind or psyche as dynamic, one force working upon another which in turn produces different forces. These psychological dynamics shape our thoughts, our views about the world, which in turn shape the lives we live.
We are continually being affected by the dynamic sensations and reactions we have to people and events. In turn, we are continually affecting people and situations around us.
- We live and shape the world around us through a kind of ongoing dynamic feedback loop.
Psychodynamic counselling, memory and the past
Particular events that we have lived through and experienced leave impressions on us. When these past events are spontaneously brought to mind, perhaps by a smell or a piece of music, or a glimpse of an old photograph, we remember them again. We re-experience certain feelings that we have in relation to the memory of the past events. When we remember things, we often remember feelings that are connected with the people and events concerned. This is what we mean by dynamic memory.
Memories and feelings are dynamic
These dynamic feelings and experiences become part of our identity and part of how we relate to people. In turn, though we may not mean too, though we may not be aware of it, when we meet new people, when we start to develop new relationships, various aspects of these old dynamics are stirred up and activated anew.
- Effectively our past dynamic memories are continually projecting old feelings onto new people and situations. Different people will draw different feelings and dynamics to our mind.
Psychodynamic counselling; understanding how our relationships work
In many instances this may all seem fairly inconsequential, but sometimes, this will work to get in the way of us developing the kind of relationships we would like to have.
So, the relationships we attempt to create with new people will unwittingly be coloured by the things we project onto them.
- One minute you see a new opportunity in front of you. The next you are looking back on another relationship that went wrong the way all your others did.
This can be very hard on us. We might become anxious that we seem to keep going around in circles, that things will go wrong for us again. We may go from anxious to worried to depressed. We might start to sleep badly and gradually feel rather unwell.
Psychodynamic counselling considers that there is more to us than our conscious rational selves.
In the counselling, there is no homework or specific goal other than the attempt to try to speak openly when you are in your counselling sessions. So, you might bring your dreams, your daydreams and chance ideas. Psychodynamic counselling sees these things as an important part of you. And though it might seem random to speak of the chance things that have caught your attention, through paying close attention to the things that engage us, we start to find the keys to unlocking the negative dynamics that shape our lives.
A lot of counselling and therapy (CBT, MCBT) offers techniques to take your mind off the problems that are bothering you. You are advised to focus on new goals, work harder, visualise your goals better. Psychodynamic counselling would consider that this is just increasing the stressful dynamics that you are caught up in.
How psychodynamic counselling helps us solve our problems
You won’t solve your problems repeating the things that create your problems in the first place. Psychodynamic counselling is concerned with helping people to identify and find a way out of making the same mistakes again.
Psychodynamic counselling offers the chance to break the destructive ways of relating that can dominate our lives without us realising it.
How do we stop making the same mistakes again?
Unless we find ways to see the way we live more clearly, it is likely that our lives will repeat the same kinds of patterns, destructive cycles and all. You will likely pick the wrong kind of emotional partner again, and see your relationships break up in the same kinds of ways as they have before.
Psychodynamic counselling is practical and focused on the here and now
In psychodynamic counselling, you have the opportunity to make sense of the way you are relating to your counsellor. Through identifying and breaking the dynamics that glue these patterns together, it becomes possible to break out of the automatic dynamic cycle of projections as they are experienced in the counselling. This means that you get the chance to start again, to develop a new experience within the counselling relationship.
If you can break out of these dynamics in your counselling, then you will be able to do so in other parts of your life.
How can Counselling Buckinghamshire help?
At Counselling Buckinghamshire we have a depth of experience of working with people who are trying to find ways out of these repetitive experiences of failure and disappointment.
Contact now for a free telephone consultation to discuss how our approach may be relevant to you.
Working with Counselling Buckinghamshire could be the start of breaking out of these old repetitive dynamics.