Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Ellen’s Journey

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on August 1, 2013



Psychodynamic Therapy

“I am in psychodynamic therapy. I landed in this by accident and had no real idea what was involved. I was simply looking for help with PTSD symptoms, liked what I read on Ron’s website, and made an appointment. I liked Ron, so I kept going.

Slowly it dawned on me that this therapy was different from others I’d attempted.

Psychodynamic therapy has it’s roots in Freud’s theories of the unconscious and of the importance of the relationship between client and therapist. The theories have changed a lot since Freud’s day, but these basics, that unconscious factors influence our current life, that our family of origin relationships formed our personalities, and that the relationship between client and therapist is a part of the therapy remain.

So I may be going on about how Ron feels about me and how I feel about him – those are legitimate concerns in this type of therapy, though they may seem very off the point to those in other types of therapy.

The other aspect of Ron’s therapy is the importance of allowing buried feelings to emerge. When I access a feeling from my past, however painful and horrendous, the theory is to welcome that feeling if possible and allow it expression. This therapy would not talk me out of feelings that I have, and going through periods of grief and anger is seen as healing and not something to be stopped or fixed.”

The above quote was taken from Ellen’s (not her real name) post about her own therapy. I liked the way she encapsulated psychodynamic principles.

3 Responses to “Ellen’s Journey”

  1. Shelly said

    I’m not sure how psychodynamic therapy differs from other types of therapy. Don’t they all allow expression and exploration of past events and feelings? Don’t some subscribe to Freud? How is this therapy different from .psychoanalytic exploration?

    • Psychodynamic therapy, in contrast to more behavioral forms of therapy, welcomes the past as a major influence of the present. More behaviorally oriented therapies encourage a “here and now” approach, thereby dismissing the feelings of being haunted by previous relationships. Psychoanalytic exploration is the same as psychodynamic therapy, as both imply that the past, along with the current doctor/patient relationship, gives a window into how the unconscious is operating in ways which might be obstructing a better life. Thanks.

  2. Ellen said

    Thanks Shirah. Glad you liked it.

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