Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is a talking therapy which comes from an understanding that we are shaped by our relationships and experiences with others. We may be both conscious and unconscious of these processes, resulting in both known and hidden feelings, desires, wishes and thoughts which relate to both past and present difficulties. Overwhelming and painful feelings give rise to ways of coping, or defending ourselves from distress. It can be helpful to understand and to work on areas that no longer serve us well.

During your assessment a particular problem area will be identified between yourself and your therapist and will be the focus of the therapy.


Who is psychodynamic psychotherapy for?

Dynamic psychotherapy is suitable for those who are curious about themselves and wish to explore and understand their problems at a deeper level. It can help with a range of issues and difficulties, and some examples might be:

-        Problems relating to a sense of self- being unsure of who you are, or having a fragile sense of self. Low self esteem, feeling emotionally unstable or empty.

-        Problems and conflicts in current relationships, which reflect similar relationships in the past eg difficulties getting close, or feeling too clingy.

-        Difficulty dealing with loss or bereavement.


How does it work?

Individual psychotherapy works through a safe and trusting relationship between you and your therapist. The agreed aims of your therapy will be the focus. Dynamic patterns of feeling, relating and behaving are evident in all relationships, and are expected to arise with your therapist. These current dynamics can be safely and helpfully explored within therapy.

Therapy can lead to new understandings and changes in the way you feel and relate to yourself, and other people.


What you can expect in therapy

Usually you will meet with your therapist at a regular and agreed time and place each week. You will be expected to bring own concerns and there will be space and time to explore what is on your mind with your therapist. Your therapist will try to understand what you say and to talk with you in a helpful way. Sometimes your feelings will involve the therapist. This can at first feel difficult and risky, but your problems will be helped by facing and understanding them, even if this may be uncomfortable.

Your therapist role is not normally to give advice, or suggest a course of action.  This therapy may therefore not be the first choice for people who like more structure, or direction.


Length Of Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy will usually last between two and six months. You will agree the duration of treatment, including any gaps for holidays, etc., with your therapist either at the start of therapy, or during a review mid-way through therapy.


When and where does it take place

Psychodynamic therapy is offered at Gaskell House Psychotherapy Centre, Swinton Grove, Manchester. Usual times for weekly therapy are between 9am and 5pm although occasional out of hours slots may be available. 

For further information on how psychoanalytic psychotherapy works see the website of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy:


As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust