chapter  2
40 Pages

The psychodynamic approach

The psychodynamic approaches to counselling and psychotherapy are based on the psychoanalytic theories and practice of Sigmund Freud. They focus on the belief that a large part of our mental functioning is unconscious. The unconscious part of our mind contains memories, thoughts and feelings which we have repressed in order to avoid the pain and conflict they might cause. This material is in a sense ‘out of mind’, but this does not mean that it no longer affects us. The psychodynamic approaches assume that it continues to have a profound influence on our behaviour, thoughts and feelings.