Freud, Adapted

As one of the world’s foremost training and clinical settings for psychodynamic therapy, we are believers in the power of Freudian analysis. Not the old-school, sex-obsessed incarnation that saw decadent symbols around every turn, but a more modern and nuanced version that incorporates ideas about the unconscious with a more measured politics. An ongoing battle has been pitched in journals and in the press about the relative value of psychodynamic therapy versus cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT has marshalled to its side some data that shows it can be effective for redirecting personal behavior and thought patterns, vectoring patients away from their most miserable states. Psychodynamic therapy tends to be slower, deeper and harder to quantify – but has in its corner a century of case studies demonstrating its effectiveness for a wide variety of emotional maladies.

This recent article takes a look at both sides, ultimately uncovering a little-discussed area of overlap and reconciliation:

But cognitive behaviorists who see patients on an ongoing basis, Walsh contends, draw on Freud. Some of today’s buzziest mental health topics, such as attachment theory and post-traumatic stress, are, in many ways, refurbished versions of what lay at the core of Freudian theory.

“Same concepts, new language,” Walsh said.

It is a wise perspective, and one that highlights the simple fact that anyone whose work involves listening to other human beings will eventually begin to focus on the deepest issues in each patient’s life.

Want to begin your own course of psychotherapy with a trained specialist who can help surface some of the issues that hold you back? Contact PPSC today.