Welcome to the section of the website that helps educate those who are looking for more information on psychological problems for which psychodynamic psychotherapy can offer a helping hand. If you are trying to decide on a treatment, you will find here a discussion of many of the most common psychological problems and potential treatments for those of any background.
The discussion is divided into 5 areas of difficulties—anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, and personality disorders– and there is an additional section discussing the advantages and disadvantages of long-term vs. short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. Each area has its own module for ease of access which answers four questions related to the psychiatric problem including:
- A description of the broad category of psychological difficulties including a list of common symptoms
- A more focused explanation of specific areas of difficulties within the broader area of problems
- What might a psychodynamic psychotherapy approach to treatment for this area of difficulties look like?
- Does psychodynamic psychotherapy work for the specific disorder including a review of clinical evidence.
We hope you find this discussion useful in educating yourself about common psychological problems and learning about the clinical evidence for psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is now a common choice as a treatment to heal ourselves, solve personal problems, and improve the quality of our lives.
What are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders comprise a broad range of psychological problems that affect more people in the United States than any other mental disorder.1 Not only are anxiety disorders common, they will effect approximately one in five of all people in their lifetime representing an enormous burden.2 Anxiety can be helpful in that it protects us from danger, prepares us for important events, and warns our bodies when immediate actions are needed to ensure our safety.
What are personality disorders?
Personality disorders are characterized by enduring pattern of behaviors and inner experiences deviating significantly from one’s culture. These harmful patterns, either to self or others or both, develop at a young age and are largely inflexible. As personality is defined by enduring behavioral or mental traits, a personality disorder is diagnosed when these enduring patterns result in significant emotional or interpersonal distress.
What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that develops after an intense physical or emotional event in which a person may have been harmed or frightened or witnessed harm to another. Traumatic events may include but are not limited to such incidents as kidnapping, rape, abuse, bombings, natural disasters, or car accidents. After the traumatic event, the person may develop a cluster of symptoms characterized by reliving a trauma via nightmares or flashbacks, startling easily, avoidance of situations that remind the person of the trauma, or increasing irritability or even violent reactions.
What is depression?
More than just feeling a little sad, clinical depression can be a severe mental illness with both biological and environmental underpinnings. Symptoms of depression can vary between individuals but often include diminished interest in activities, persistent low energy, difficulties with concentration, excessive or diminished sleep, changes in appetite, increased feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and in severe cases, thoughts of self-harm or of committing suicide.
What are eating disorders?
There are three eating disorders included within this diagnostic grouping: bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, all characterized by a severe disturbance in weight regulation and eating behavior. People with eating disorders typically become preoccupied by their body appearance and food intake which leads to significant psychological, physical, and/or social consequences. In the United states, approximately 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime.1
What is the difference between short-term and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy?
While there is no standardized definition of short-term versus long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, there is a general consensus by experts that they differ in the number of total sessions as well as duration of treatment. In long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, the patient and therapist will typically meet for more than one year with at least 40 sessions in each year. On the other hand, in short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychotherapy will be less than one year and less than 40 sessions.