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Psychodynamic Therapy

The plethora of therapy options available when you or a loved one is struggling with addiction can make it difficult to choose a specific alcohol rehab program. Each theory identifies varying causes of addiction and suggests different methods of treatment, creating several distinct models for dealing with addiction. Choosing the right model for yourself or your loved one can ensure that the treatment is as successful as possible. Psychodynamic therapy is a time-consuming, but consistently beneficial model for alcohol rehab programs.

The basic principles for psychodynamic therapy are rooted in a Freudian-style analysis of the underlying reasons for a person’s behaviour. The idea is that past experiences – including relationships with parents and any unresolved conflicts – have a profound influence on the person’s behaviour as an adult. The effects of these events and relationships are not usually directly identified by the individual, but subconsciously drive their behaviour in later life. Psychodynamic therapy brings these connections to light, and thereby makes it easier for the individual to alter their behaviour.

One of the major distinctions between psychodynamic therapy and Freudian psychoanalysis is the focus of the sessions. Traditional Freudian psychoanalysis uses free association, which allows the individual to discuss anything that comes to their mind freely and gives the therapist the opportunity to gain a much deeper understanding of the issues. In psychodynamic therapy there is a specific focus, which speeds up the process and increases the viability of the approach for tackling specific issues such as alcohol addiction. Other schools of psychoanalysis, such as ego psychology, self psychology and object relations are also incorporated into psychodynamic therapy.

Alcohol rehab programs which use psychodynamic therapy will focus on one-to-one sessions with a therapist. Initially, the therapist will have to focus on developing a trusting relationship with the individual, so they feel more comfortable divulging personal feelings and thoughts during the sessions. The therapist will guide the sessions, keeping the focus on alcohol use and past events which may be relevant to the addiction. He or she will judge how in touch the individual is with their emotions, the possible impacts of hidden emotions and how deeply these emotions are buried in the person’s subconscious. By identifying these factors and linking them to significant events in the individual’s past, the therapist shows them why they became addicted to alcohols originally and the factors which could drive them to relapse.

The focus of psychodynamic therapy is firmly on the root causes of problems, rather than managing the external symptoms. Abstinence from the alcohol can only be achieved if the person has dealt with the deep-seated personal issues that originally led them to it. Simply not taking alcohols isn’t sufficient to “cure” the individual from addiction. The process is lengthy, often taking two years or more, but afterwards the person learns vital skills for analysing their own behaviour which will serve them well throughout life. They will understand the root of their issues and understand that to feel better those causes have to be addressed. Studies have actually shown that the positive effects of psychodynamic therapy grow over time, rather than degrading due to lack of professional contact.

If you think psychodynamic therapy is the best choice for you or your loved one’s alcohol rehab program, we can provide you with free advice on the different centres available to you. We can also give you more information on the different treatment options and models available. Our service is completely free, and we are dedicated to helping you find the right program to overcome addiction. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options for alcohol rehab, and we are here to guide you to the most suitable choice.


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