Netflix series Russian Doll, released in February 2019, plays with the psychological concept of ‘repetition compulsion’ to produce a dark comedy that offers an apt metaphor for the re-emergence of childhood trauma in adulthood.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is sometimes associated with undesirable notions of ‘wallowing in the past’ and ‘digging up old wounds.’ When you come to therapy, you want to know how to feel better. Looking at the past may seem incongruent with your current difficulty. You can't change the past, so why does it matter?
Anger tends to hold negative connotations with ‘badness,’ being so often associated with damage, pain and destruction. Yet this emotion is an essential part of our feeling self. How do we embrace our anger so that we can use it as a positive force? In my article on Welldoing.org, I explore how we can harness our anger as a tool for change.
Like a Highway Code for our inner world, feelings guide us, offering important information about our environment. When we feel safe, contented and hopeful, for instance, like a green light, our psyche is signalling it is safe to explore. When we feel threatened, our mind is sending an amber warning telling us to take heed. How do we come to know and trust our feelings?
While some therapies will focus on ‘how’ to address current blocks or difficulties you are facing, psychodynamic psychotherapy concentrates on the question of ‘why’. Why do I feel like this? Why am I experiencing these difficulties, and why now? Through examining ‘why’, the therapist aims to help the client bring meaning and understanding to their experience.
The children’s story, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,’ by Michael Rosen, offers a good metaphor for the journey we take towards healing. In this article, I use this classic piece of children’s literature to illustrate the internal conflict within our minds that often trips us up.
As babies, we are born with a whole rainbow of emotions. Like musical notes to the beginner, they make no sense. Our first caregiver, usually our mother, is instrumental in bringing meaning to our emotional selves. In this blog post, I use the experience of learning to play music as a metaphor for the experience of being in therapy.