With young people and adults:
Psychodynamic psychotherapy provides you with time and space to think and talk about your feelings in relation to yourself and others, especially your family or those closest to you. You may want to talk about:
- what is currently happening in your life
- how you are dealing with what is happening to you
- what has happened in the past
- how the past can affect how you feel and think and how you act
My role as a therapist will be, among other things, to help you to establish links between the past and the present in an empathic, non-judgemental environment. As the dialogue proceeds, I will occasionally comment on the session in order to show you how, very often, your feelings, words and actions are not consciously controlled, but rather guided by unconscious feelings rooted in the past. If this happens in the sessions, it is probably also occurring in your daily life. By better understanding these associations, you will be more capable of making decisions based on what you want or need in the present, instead of allowing past experiences to limit your choices and negatively affect your behaviour.
You may wish to simply discuss a specific difficulty, in which case my approach will focus primarily on the more immediate relief of symptoms. The aim here will be to strengthen your ability to adapt to the situation you find yourself in, allowing you to recover previous levels of functioning as much as possible.
With children and teenagers:
The psychotherapy of children and teenagers aims to help them understand and manage any feelings, thoughts and conflicting behaviours which are proving difficult. It is essential that the therapist develops a relationship of total trust and empathy with the child or the teenager.
Child and teenage psychotherapy acknowledges their current stage of psychological development. Different psychotherapeutic approaches and a variety of techniques are used as a means to help them express their difficulties. Play therapy includes the use of dolls, puppets, sand and water, art, the making of short films, amongst others. By allowing the child or young person to choose the means by which they express themselves, they are better able to communicate any areas of distress and/or anxiety during the session.
The aims of the sessions are to provide a safe and secure environment in which the child or young person is able to discuss their concerns. In this way, they will be able to: gain confidence in expressing their feelings, understand their internal conflicts, improve their levels of communication, recognise and accept their strengths and weaknesses, deal with difficult feelings and find ways of dealing with worries, pressures and negative behaviours in a positive way.