Taking a Psychodynamic Approach to Medicine Prescriptions for Mental Health
Psychodynamic was founded in the early 1900s by Sigmund Freud and it puts focus on the subconscious part of our minds, in the belief that this will help us identify patterns and behaviors more clearly.
The practice has not been used as much in recent decades with many theorists and psychiatrists favoring more modern approaches to therapy. That being said, there is an ever-growing discussion about whether taking a psychodynamic approach to medicine prescriptions could be effective, especially for patients who have had long term mental health struggles.
What are the techniques used in psychodynamic therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy relies a lot less on activities than many other forms of therapy do, but there are still plenty of interesting techniques that a psychodynamic therapist can use to help unlock your subconscious mind.
The Rorschach test is perhaps the best-known in any sort of therapy, thanks largely to the way it has been adopted by popular culture. The test involves the therapist showing the patient ten blotted ink pictures. The patient must then describe what they think they can see in the photos.
Popular culture has made this test appear more ominous than it actually is. However, it is often used as a simple way to give the therapist a better idea of the way their patient thinks. While the test can raise a few issues for some people with certain personality disorders, it is often just a way of providing an insight into the way that somebody thinks and how they view different situations. It can also give a glimpse into somebody’s unconscious mind, which is one of the goals of psychodynamic therapy.
Free association, or word association as some therapists call it, is another commonly used technique in psychodynamic therapy. This is where the therapist reads several words to their patient and asks them to say the first thing that they associate with it. This is once again another effective way of providing an insight into the way the patient thinks and can also give a strong indication of their current mood and frame of mind.
Finally, dream analysis is another key element of psychodynamic therapy. Dreams are a big part of our subconscious mind and by exploring them and analyzing what they might mean, we can help explain some of our behaviors and actions. Dream analysis may sound like a fairly tricky thing to do but psychodynamic therapists have developed a strong system to help their patients burrow deeply into their subconscious mind.
What does psychodynamic therapy focus on?
Psychodynamic therapists believe that the majority of our psychological processes take place outside of our conscious mind. They believe that our actions and behaviors are heavily influenced by our unconscious thoughts, like fears and dreams.
They believe that childhood experiences, in particular, are key to shaping the way that we lead our lives as adults and they will often put the focus on these earlier, and often repressed, memories. The idea is that these very early experiences have shaped us in ways that we often do not realize and that by recognizing them, we may be able to spot things we can do to help. These are regularly explored in detail throughout therapy sessions.
In many ways, psychodynamic therapy is like putting together a puzzle. It helps clients recognize and become aware of different parts of themselves and how these have helped shape the person they have become. The intention is not necessarily to eradicate behavior but instead, to recognize the course of it.
Does psychodynamic therapy actually work?
While there is a lot of dispute among psychologists about the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy, it has been shown that it can be of huge help to those who suffer from certain types of mental health issues. Some reports suggest that it can be incredibly effective at helping solve long-term mental health issues and that it can be just as effective as other types of treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy.
Many elements of psychodynamic therapy are positive for patients. One of the biggest is that it helps patients discover who they really are. No issues are off the table and this ability to recognize avoidance can be an incredibly useful key to unlocking many of the answers that someone may be looking for.
How can a psychodynamic approach be applied to medicine and prescriptions?
There is a lot of debate in the pharmaceutical industry about the effectiveness of prescribing anti-depressants for patients. Many studies suggest that much of the reaction to anti-depressants is due to the placebo effect and that many patients are not given the correct type of medicine to help them get better in the long-term.
Taking a psychodynamic approach to medicine prescriptions can help to counter this. In psychodynamic therapy, patients and therapists build a very strong and often deep relationship and this can provide them with an excellent insight into what may be able to help them.
Many patients show apprehension about using anti-depressants or other types of medication. They may express the belief that the medication will actually do them more harm than good or that it will not help them at all. By taking a psychodynamic approach to medicine prescriptions in this situation, you may be able to identify where these apprehensions come from and why the client has an aversion to medication. This can be a useful barrier for both the patient and the therapist to overcome.
Patients and therapists who take a psychodynamic approach to medicine prescriptions also tend to have much deeper bonds, because they tackle difficult issues together. This can help with slightly more complex patients who may otherwise just be given medication that has no positive effect on them at all.