The main features of psychodynamic therapy are*:
1. A focus on emotion.
2. Exploration of attempts to avoid upsetting thoughts and feelings.
3. Identification of recurring themes and patterns.
4. Discussion of past experience.
5. Focus on interpersonal relations.
6. Focus on the therapy relationship.
7. Exploration of fantasy life.
* This information is drawn from the article by Jonathan Shedler (2010), "The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy" (used with permission).
Both forms of therapy are aimed at alleviating the symptoms of the presenting problem and the difficulties that result, but psychodynamic therapy also examines the possible reasons for and causes of the problem - which may be both conscious and unconscious, and both interpersonal and intrapsychic. CBT, on the other hand, is not concerned with underlying motivations, but focuses on trying to produce change by replacing dysfunctional thoughts and behaviours with rational beliefs.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who completes further specialised training in mental health and therapeutic treatment. A referral from a GP is required to consult with a psychiatrist, and psychiatrists can prescribe medication if required.
A psychologist completes undergraduate and postgraduate training related to the study of the mind and therapeutic treatment. Some psychologists also complete further specialised training in clinical psychology. Referral from a GP is not required unless claiming from Medicare under the Better Access initiative. Psychologists do not prescribe medication but will refer to a medical practitioner if this is necessary.
Although the clinicians at Wycombe Clinic are responsible and professional regarding the use of medication to complement treatment as and when required, this is not our primary mode of intervention. As psychodynamic psychotherapists, our focus is on so-called 'talking treatment' to alleviate the distress and symptoms with which our patients present.