psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy in Orange County, California


One of the oldest forms of modern therapies is psychodynamic therapy. This type of therapy helps you recognize underlying thoughts and feelings. It is primarily used to treat certain mental health disorders such as depression, phobias, and panic disorder. Furthermore, studies have found effective applications of this technique to treat social anxiety and eating disorders

In fact, the American Psychologist has cited evidence that psychodynamic therapy is just as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Additionally, benefits may increase over time.

If you are battling a mental health issue, it can affect your quality of life and the loved ones around you. At SoCal Empowered, we specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental conditions. Don’t let a disorder prevent you from living your best, healthy life.  

What is Psychodynamic Therapy?

Psychodynamic therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy, is based on psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theories and techniques. The individual brings their true feelings to the surface to understand, experience, and resolve any surrounding issues.  

The psychodynamic theory is based on what we think, believe, and feel is experienced unconsciously, or with the subconscious mind. 

psychodynamic therapy

Certain feelings are too painful to face head-on, and defense mechanisms develop at an early age. Defense mechanisms can be demonstrated when an individual shows denial, repression, intellectualization, or projection.

At times defense mechanisms can be healthy when they do not interfere with an individual’s work or personal life. Although, the reality is these defense mechanisms often cause problems that need to be addressed. Once an individual can unravel and work through situations, they become less painful and can genuinely feel happy.

The ultimate goal of the psychodynamic approach is to find relief caused by psychological pain. The individual is to become self-aware and recognize how much influence the past has on current behavior.

psychodynamic therapy

Linking current behavior to past events can take time, and a therapist could examine the following:

  • The degree to which the individual is aware of or comfortable with his or her feelings
  • Any feelings the individual has but doesn’t know about or understand
  • How deep the psyche negative feelings are buried
  • The physical or psychological effects from buried feelings

Techniques Used in Psychodynamic Therapy

Therapy focuses on certain techniques that are determined by the therapist. These techniques differ depending on the specific situation of each individual. Some of the most common psychodynamic therapy techniques include:

Free Association 

Free association is pretty much what it sounds like. The individual talks to the therapist about the first thing that comes to mind. Often, this results in speaking about what they feel the most strongly about without feeling the pressure to do so. By speaking freely, the individual creates an organic, trusting relationship with the therapist in a natural way.

Transference of Feelings

Therapeutic transference is a concept of taking the individual’s feelings (anger, sadness, etc.) about a person and transferring them onto the therapist. Placing these deep, buried feelings onto another person allows the therapist and individual to explore them. 


Once the psychodynamic therapist has had enough time with the individual, they can begin interpreting underlying thoughts and feelings. The therapist helps the individual interpret newly conscious thoughts and how it can affect their daily life and mental health disorder.

How Long is Psychodynamic Therapy?

Since no two individuals have the exact same issues, an evaluation must be done to address the problems. A clinical interview is usually conducted in the first few sessions. Sometimes, long-term psychodynamic therapy is needed, while other times something short term is sufficient enough. The concept of this technique is always to feel better as soon as possible.

After the sessions are completed, the individual should be able to handle stress and life difficulties in a flexible manner. Interpersonal relationships become improved, as well as productivity at work. In general, the individual’s mood is stabilized through improved insight with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

psychodynamic therapy

Receive Psychodynamic Therapy at SoCal Empowered


Studies show the strength of the therapeutic relationship is the most significant correlation for a successful treatment outcome. Having a therapist you can trust and build a rapport with is extremely important for this reason. At SoCal Empowered, we are a family run facility with industry-leading mental health recovery professionals. We focus on meeting each individual at where there are, and work hard to build that relationship.

If you or a loved one is battling a mental health condition, give us a call today. Your journey towards personal growth and healing can start with our licensed team of mental health experts.

psychodynamic therapy