Psychodynamic therapy

In the realm of rehab treatment, a multifaceted approach is often necessary to address the complex interplay of psychological, emotional, and behavioural factors underlying addictive behaviours. Among the various therapeutic modalities, psychodynamic therapy stands as a profound and effective tool for unravelling the depths of addiction. By delving into the unconscious processes that drive substance abuse, psychodynamic therapy offers a unique and insightful pathway to recovery.


Psychodynamic therapy - one-to-one therapy

What is psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy is based on the theories and principles of psychodynamic psychology, which originated with Sigmund Freud. It aims to explore and understand the underlying psychological dynamics contributing to a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. By recognising the influence of unconscious motivations and past experiences, psychodynamic therapy helps clients gain insight into their unconscious patterns, unresolved conflicts, and unresolved emotions. The therapist plays a guiding role in fostering this process and building a therapeutic relationship with the client.

Through increased awareness, individuals can work towards resolving internal conflicts, developing healthier coping mechanisms, and improving their overall well-being.

How does psychodynamic therapy work within rehab?

Psychodynamic therapy can be employed as part of addiction recovery by addressing the underlying psychological factors contributing to substance abuse. Here’s an explanation of how psychodynamic therapy can work in the context of recovery:

  • Understanding unconscious motivations: Psychodynamic therapy recognises that unconscious motivations, such as unresolved conflicts, early life experiences, or unmet emotional needs, may influence substance abuse. The therapist helps explore these underlying factors, bringing them into conscious awareness. By understanding the hidden motivations behind addictive behaviours, the individual can gain insight into their patterns of substance abuse.
  • Exploring unresolved conflicts and emotions: Psychodynamic therapy provides a safe space for clients to explore and process unresolved conflicts or emotions that may contribute to their addictive behaviours. It could involve examining past traumas, exploring complicated relationships, or addressing unresolved feelings of anger, sadness, or guilt. By working through these issues, clients can reduce the need to rely on substances as a coping mechanism.
  • Developing healthier coping mechanisms: One of the goals of psychodynamic therapy is to help clients develop healthier coping mechanisms to replace substance abuse. Through therapy, clients can gain insight into the triggers and underlying emotions that lead to substance use. They can then work with the therapist to develop alternative ways of managing stress, regulating emotions, and addressing their needs without turning to substances.
  • Enhancing self-awareness and self-esteem: Individuals can identify self-destructive patterns and develop a more positive self-image by gaining insight into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Strengthening self-esteem and self-worth can contribute to a greater sense of control, reducing the likelihood of relapse.
  • Building a therapeutic relationship: The therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist is essential in psychodynamic therapy for recovery. The therapist provides support, empathy, and non-judgmental space for the client to explore their struggles and progress. Through the therapeutic alliance, clients can develop trust, open up about their experiences, and work collaboratively towards recovery.

It’s important to note that psychodynamic therapy within rehab treatment is often used in conjunction with other approaches, such as didactical-behavioural therapy and group therapy, depending on the individual’s specific needs. Combining various therapeutic interventions can provide a comprehensive approach to address substance abuse and promote lasting recovery.

What techniques are used in psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy utilises various techniques to facilitate insight and self-exploration. Here are some commonly used methods in psychodynamic therapy:

  • Free association: Clients are encouraged to speak freely without censorship, sharing their thoughts, feelings, and associations as they arise. This technique allows unconscious material to emerge, providing valuable clues about underlying conflicts or issues.
  • Interpretation: The therapist interprets the client’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and patterns. These interpretations aim to shed light on unconscious processes, unresolved conflicts, and motivations influencing the individual’s relationship with drugs or alcohol.
  • Reflective listening: The therapist actively listens and reflects shared thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This technique fosters a deeper understanding and validation of the client’s inner world.
  • Clarification and confrontation: The therapist may seek clarification or gently challenge inconsistencies or defence mechanisms employed by the client. This encourages self-reflection and a deeper exploration of underlying substance abuse issues.
  • Support and empathy: While psychodynamic therapy involves the exploration of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts, it also provides a supportive and empathetic environment. The therapist offers understanding, validation, and emotional support throughout the therapeutic journey.

It’s important to note that the specific techniques used in psychodynamic therapy can vary depending on the therapist’s approach, individual needs, and therapy goals.


Psychodynamic therapy


How is psychodynamic therapy integrated at Oasis Bradford?

Psychodynamic therapy can be integrated with various other therapeutic approaches to create a comprehensive treatment plan. Some therapies that can work well in conjunction with psychodynamic therapy include:

  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT): Combining DBT with psychodynamic therapy can provide clients with a balance of emotional exploration and practical coping strategies, enhancing their ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships effectively.
  • Holistic therapy: This can be integrated with psychodynamic therapy to encompass a comprehensive approach that addresses not only the psychological aspects of an individual but also their physical well-being, lifestyle choices, nutrition, exercise, and spiritual practices. This integration aims to promote a deeper understanding of the individual’s holistic needs and supports their overall healing and personal growth.
  • Group therapy: Integrating group therapy with psychodynamic therapy will enable people to explore their interpersonal patterns and dynamics within a supportive group setting. It can provide additional perspectives, social support, and opportunities for practising healthier relational skills.
  • Family therapy: Integrating family therapy with psychodynamic therapy can help clients better understand their family system, resolve conflicts, and improve communication and relationships within the family.

Please note that the specific combination of therapies will depend on your unique needs, the nature of your concerns, and the therapists’ expertise. To determine if psychodynamic therapy is the most suitable approach for you and to inquire about its availability, we recommend contacting our admissions team for further guidance.


Psychodynamic therapy - group therapy


What are the benefits of psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy offers several potential benefits for individuals seeking psychological support and personal growth. Here are some of the benefits associated with psychodynamic therapy:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Resolving unconscious conflicts
  • Improved relationships
  • Enhanced coping mechanisms
  • Increased self-esteem and self-acceptance
  • Long-lasting improvements

It’s important to note that the benefits of psychodynamic therapy can vary from person to person, and the effectiveness of the therapy depends on factors such as the person’s motivation, the quality of the therapeutic relationship, and the specific goals and needs of the individual.

Is psychodynamic therapy for you?

If you would like more information about the rehab programmes we offer at Oasis Bradford, including details on various therapeutic approaches, we encourage you to contact us. Our dedicated team can provide the information you need regarding psychodynamic therapy and guide you through available options.

Contact us today to explore the comprehensive support we provide and determine the best treatment path for your journey towards recovery.