What is the psychodynamic approach to therapy/counselling?
Psychodynamic therapy is a form of therapy that aims to help people understand their patterns of behaviours and their ways of relating to others. Psychodynamic therapy can also give people insight into how they experience both life and their own selves within it.
The purpose of psychodynamic therapy is to bring what is in our unconscious mind into consciousness. Many of our personal struggles and problems come from trauma or difficult memories that we have repressed for a variety of reasons. Although we think that we have forgotten these memories, they are actually still ticking away in the background of our mind and influencing our actions, thoughts and relationships without us realising.
As a psychodynamic therapist, I believe that uncovering and exploring our unconscious memories and traumas puts us in a much better position in life. This process allows us to understand ourselves more fully and to discover a more positive and functional way of living. When we learn about the origins of our behaviour, we learn that we now have a choice. We can either continue to be anchored to our same old scripts or use our self-awareness and discovery to create a new path of existence.
How much does psychodynamic therapy cost?
Sessions cost £40 each and last for 50 minutes.
However, I believe that psychodynamic therapy should be more accessible to a wider range of people so I also offer a special student rate of £30 per session. To qualify for this lower rate, you must be a student enrolled at a sixth form, college or university.
I also offer a few low-cost therapy places for people who are in financial difficulties and cannot easily afford a therapist. These sessions only cost £25 each - please contact me for availability as spaces are limited and in high demand.
What can I expect therapy to be like?
The first thing I like to tell people is that there is no right or wrong way to 'do' therapy. Every therapy experience is entirely unique to each individual and different people get different things out of it.
You may come to therapy with a definite focus, such as working on your lack of self-esteem or direction in life. On the other hand, you may not have a focus and instead want to explore your life and emotions more generally. You may come to therapy during an intense crisis or you may come at a more reflective time in your life. You may want the therapy space to work out how you really feel about a certain someone or situation. You may want your pain heard, seen and acknowledged by another person. You may not even have a 'reason' to come to therapy - you just want to give it a go and find out what it's all about. It's all down to you.
Another thing I tell people is a rather uncomfortable truth - there are no guarantees in therapy. I cannot promise to instantly 'fix' or take away your problems - no therapist can or should promise this. What I can promise you instead is a deeply human and unique relationship that is based on honesty, intimacy and a genuine interest in you. I can promise you my time, space and empathy at every session with the purpose of thinking, feeling and exploring your emotions together.
I'm worried therapy might make me feel worse - is it difficult?
There may be times when therapy is challenging, frustrating or painful. Something might come up from your past which hurts in a way that you were not expecting. You might learn something about your personality or behaviour patterns which is hard to accept. Sometimes you might even wonder why you came.
But therapy and self-understanding is also one of the greatest and most life-changing gifts we can give ourselves. It can be emotionally liberating and help to free us from the bonds of our past. It can restore our faith in life, people and ourselves. It can allow us to find closure from our traumas and to start a new chapter of change and creativity in our lives.
Are you the right therapist for me?
That depends! Every therapist is unique with their own personal academic background and life experience so we all work with people differently. I trained both academically and clinically at the organisation Gloucestershire Counselling Service which is accredited by both the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). I am a member of the BACP (membership no. 00958651) and I adhere to their professional and ethical standards.
My own area of specialism is working with people in their late teens, twenties and thirties who are struggling with social or generalised anxiety, periods of depression or finding direction in life. If you have experienced an unusual, traumatic or dysfunctional childhood, we may also work particularly well together. I have also worked with the psychology of psychosomatic disorders and chronic pain conditions in young people.
Therapy is about the connection and relationship between two people, and many relationships defy the limits of listed areas. If you don't fall into any of my listed areas but you think we would still make a good match, please get in touch with me!
I'm still not sure...
That's OK! Therapy is a big commitment to yourself and your mental wellbeing so take your time in coming to a decision. There's no rush in this - the most important thing is to start when you are ready and the time feels right.
In the meantime, you can follow and get to know me on social media where I talk all things mental health and give lots of tips and techniques from my own therapy practice.
Instagram: Faye Packer @the_undiscovered_therapist
Facebook: Faye Packer Psychodynamic Counselling: Finding your Undiscovered