This type of therapy focuses on how early childhood experiences and relationships with primary figures of attachment can impact development. It is based on the idea that the unconscious mind holds onto painful feelings and memories that are too difficult or confronting for the conscious mind to process. Understanding that children develop a range of defences (eg. denial) to cope with difficult emotions is a valuable part of this model.
The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to retrieve the unconscious mind into consciousness. This facilitates an understanding of real, deep-rooted feelings in order to start coping with them.
With the goal of reducing symptoms and helping children and adolescents function, psychodynamic therapy focuses on:
- increasing self awareness
- examining and understanding thoughts and feelings
- becoming more resilient
- being adaptable
This model of therapy is effective for a wide range of symptoms, including:
- anxiety and panic
symptoms or somatic complaints that are caused by stress
and relationship difficulties
Working within this model of therapy, children and their parents begin to understand and become comfortable with underlying feelings that can often be misunderstood. The meaning or purpose behind the child’s behaviour is explored and understood through communication with both the parents and their child. Play, drawings and storytelling are commonly used as these are a child’s preferred way to communicate.
It is not attention the child is seeking but love