Successfully treating depression goes beyond reducing symptoms. You have to get to the root cause and understand the “why” behind them. By exploring what’s behind your depression, you gain essential insight into your unconscious thoughts, feelings, and experiences from your past contributing to your symptoms.
One of the most effective modalities to achieve this is psychodynamic therapy for depression. This type of therapy can improve your quality of life by helping you better understand how you think and feel. Psychodynamic therapy for depression can help you make healthy choices, relate to others, and build a more fulfilling life.
The History of Psychodynamic Therapy
When answering the question, “What is psychodynamic therapy for depression?” it’s important to understand how it was developed.
This therapy modality is based on the theories of the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. He believed a person’s psychological distress and maladaptive behaviors could lead to unresolved unconscious conflicts, frequently stemming from experiences in early childhood.
He believed that by bringing these unconscious conflicts to consciousness, individuals can explore, understand, and resolve them. Many theorists after Freud used his ideas to develop psychodynamic therapy.
Over the years, psychodynamic therapy for depression and other mental health concerns has evolved. However, its general concepts remain the same and emphasize the importance of early experiences, unconscious processes, and the therapeutic relationship.
Key Concepts of Psychodynamic Therapy for Depression
The main goal of psychodynamic therapy for depression is to gain insight into what motivates you unconsciously and address any unresolved conflicts. When your therapist helps bring these into your conscious awareness, you can develop healthier coping mechanisms, improve self-esteem, and cultivate better relationships.
Here are the fundamental principles of psychodynamic therapy:
- Explore your unconscious mind: Based on Freud’s theories, your unconscious mind influences your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. During psychodynamic therapy for depression, you’ll explore your unconscious mind to uncover repressed emotions, early life experiences, and unresolved conflicts that may contribute to depression.
- Gain insight and self-awareness through interpretation: During psychodynamic therapy, your therapist will provide meaningful interpretations of your unconscious processes, defense mechanisms, and conflicts. When you explore your past and come to understand how it shapes your present, you’ll develop greater self-awareness and the ability to deeply understand what is leading to your depression symptoms.
- Focus on the therapeutic relationship: A critical aspect of psychodynamic therapy is the positive, healthy, trusting relationship between you and your therapist. This therapy modality provides a safe and supportive environment to explore your thoughts and emotions freely.
Through techniques such as active listening, empathy, and interpretation, your BOLD Health clinician will compassionately guide you to gaining helpful insight into your feelings and behavior patterns.
- Discover your defense mechanisms: Defense mechanisms like denial, repression, and projections may contribute to your depression by preventing healthy expression and the processing of emotions. Psychodynamic therapy uncovers these defense mechanisms that you use to cope with challenging experiences and emotions.
- Examine transference: Transference is when you make assumptions about what others are thinking based on your past relationships. This often happens during psychodynamic therapy, where you assume your therapist’s thoughts.
During psychodynamic therapy sessions, your therapist will identify instances of transference and point them out to you so you can be aware of how you may use this behavior in your relationships.
- Analyze your range of emotions: Your therapist will guide you in exploring your range of emotions, including anger, sadness, distress, loss of desire, and more. They will also help you explore feelings you may not be aware of, like feeling unsafe or being let down.
The Benefits of Psychodynamic Therapy for Depression
Several benefits of psychodynamic therapy depression treatment in San Diego at BOLD Health can help you work through and overcome your troubling depression symptoms. These benefits benefit you during treatment and can endure and even increase over time.
- Improved self-awareness: Psychodynamic therapy for depression promotes self-exploration in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Genuinely knowing and understanding yourself gives you more control over your decisions and how you live your life.
- More fulfilling relationships: By understanding yourself on a deeper level through psychodynamic therapy, you won’t feel the need to rely on others to “complete” you. This can lead to more genuine relationships and make you aware of those that may be toxic to your well-being.
- Long-term growth: One of the most beneficial aspects of psychodynamic therapy for depression is that it promotes long-term growth so you can continually improve over time. Through psychodynamics, you’ll learn how to take ownership of your growth and develop healthier coping mechanisms to carry with you throughout your life.
- Higher self-esteem: Psychodynamic therapy helps you identify your belief systems and find the cause of your self-esteem issues. Your therapist, with whom you will form a trusted, meaningful therapeutic relationship, will guide you through self-discovery, empowering you to discover who you really are at your own pace.
- Better emotional resilience: When you get to the root cause of why you feel the way you do, you’re better equipped to respond appropriately. With the tools and coping skills you learn in psychodynamic therapy, you’ll be able to identify your emotions, understand them, and react accordingly.
Trust in Our Experts at BOLD Health for Comprehensive Depression Treatment in San Diego
It’s important to understand that while psychodynamic therapy for depression is highly effective, it may be used in conjunction with other treatments as needed. At BOLD Health, we offer several options for depression treatment in San Diego, including:
- individual therapy
- group therapy
- medication management
- intensive outpatient program (IOP in San Diego)
- ketamine treatment
Our proprietary BOLD Method of treatment is based on psychodynamics. We focus on getting to the root of what drives behaviors and disruptive mental health symptoms so we can help you understand them and make positive life changes.
As a practice, we believe that first, you are human, not your diagnosis. This means we take the time to get to know and understand you, your genetics, biology, and historical underpinnings so we can work to reduce the stigma of “having depression” so you can thrive outside your diagnosis.
Contact us for more information on how we can help you through depression therapy in San Diego and help you live the life you deserve.