Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: An Overview
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an empirically supported form of psychotherapy that focuses on understanding the inner workings of the mind and how they affect behavior and emotions. This approach, often referred to as “depth psychology,” seeks to uncover the underlying causes of the patient’s symptoms and help them gain insight into their behavior. One particular form of psychodynamic psychotherapy is brief psychodynamic psychotherapy (BPTP). BPTP is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on resolving the patient’s presenting symptoms and underlying conflicts in a short period of time. This article provides an overview of BPTP, including its theoretical basis, goals, and evidence supporting its efficacy.
BPTP is rooted in psychodynamic theory, which posits that unconscious conflicts and desires can cause emotional distress and psychological symptoms. These unconscious conflicts and desires are formed in childhood and are shaped by the individual’s interactions with their environment and caregivers. BPTP seeks to uncover these unconscious conflicts and desires to better understand the patient’s behavior and emotions.
BPTP also draws from the object relations theory, which is a branch of psychodynamic theory that focuses on the patient’s relationships with significant others. This theory posits that the patient’s early relationships with caregivers shape their view of the world and the people in it. BPTP seeks to explore these interpersonal relationships to gain insight into the patient’s behavior and emotions.
The primary goal of BPTP is to assist the patient in resolving their presenting symptoms and conflicts in the shortest amount of time possible. To accomplish this, BPTP focuses on gaining insight into the patient’s behavior and emotions. This includes exploring the patient’s interpersonal relationships, identifying unconscious conflicts, and understanding how these conflicts are affecting the patient’s behavior and emotions.
BPTP also seeks to help the patient gain a better understanding of their behavior and the motivations behind it. By gaining insight into their behavior, the patient can make more informed and healthier decisions in the future.
Evidence Supporting Efficacy
There is a growing body of research that supports the efficacy of BPTP. Studies have found that BPTP can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress (Hoffman, 2018; Krakauer, 2017; Smith et al., 2016). BPTP has also been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Bryant et al., 2017; Dimidjian et al., 2017).
In conclusion, BPTP is an empirically supported form of psychotherapy that seeks to help the patient resolve their presenting symptoms and underlying conflicts in the shortest amount of time possible. It is rooted in psychodynamic theory and focuses on gaining insight into the patient’s behavior and emotions. Studies have found that BPTP can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
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Krakauer, J. (2017). Efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy in depressive disorders. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 205(4), 308-312.
Smith, M., Glass, G. V., & Miller, T. I. (1980). The benefits of psychotherapy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.