Psychodynamic Counselling – Overview.
Psychodynamic counselling has a long history and vast literature to condense so only a brief overview is possible here – following on from the themes already discussed and with particular focus on four psychologists: Freud, Jung, Adler and Klein.
“The primary purpose of psychodynamic counselling is to help clients make sense of current situations; of memories associated with present experience, some of which spring readily to mind, others which may rise to consciousness as the counselling develops; and of the images that appear in fantasies and dreams.” (Jacobs)
In essence it is concerned with the presenting past, the use of the counselling relationship in terms of its meaning for the client, and insight into unconscious representations which intervene in the perception of everyday life. Philosophy
The philosophy guiding the psychodynamic approach is one that views the person as a whole - mind, body and soul - and recognises that there are relationships between these dimensions which constitute the person, or the self. These internal relationships are dynamic, always changing as they form the ‘inner world’ of an individual. Similarly, relationships to others and to objects in the environment are equally dynamic and create the ‘outer world’ of an individual. This understanding provides the key to both psychodynamic theory and practice in that present experiences and feelings can only be understood in relation to those of the past. This is reflected within the current relationship between counsellor and client which is exploring experiences, events and feelings in the conscious and working to bring those suppressed experiences from the unconscious to the conscious. The aim of psychodynamic work remains close to that of Freud, ‘where Id was, there shall Ego be’, or as Jacobs puts it ‘to make the unconscious conscious, and in doing so, to help a person to act with more conscious control and awareness than unconscious...
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