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?
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.
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.