In case the personal problems exceed beyond current life situation or if they cannot be translated into concrete external goals, psychotherapy would be the courageous course of action to take in order to deal with the problem in a mature way. The psychodynamic approach seeks to understand the nature of the inner conflict that prevents you from feeling good and motivated in life, having satisfying relationships, and being able to deal with challenges with the resources of an adult human being.
The psychoanalytic / psychodynamic approach seeks, simply putting it, to bring unconscious material together with consciousness. This is not always a pleasant process, because the unconscious contains many feelings and phantasies that were repressed because they were perceived as dangerous when we were little children. Actually, this is why they have become unconscious in the first place… This is why the task of psychotherapy is a bit detective. Dreams, exaggerated or inappropriate feelings, emotions, and anxieties are some of the clues that we trace down in the search for the unknown. In the end of the therapy, the patient should have a good understanding of his emotional patterns. With this, he can take control over his counterproductive behavior and negative feelings (or lack of feelings).
In order to succeed, psychotherapy needs to establish a safe realm of communication between therapist and patient. Within this structured relationship, old patterns of behavior can come up and be detected. Over time, the patient learns that the therapist is reliable and that he is sincerely interested in understanding his inner life. This curiosity and openness is often a completely different experience than what the patient had ever had before. It starts a process, in which unconscious deep parts of the personality realize that it is safe to finally come out and express themselves. This can be in dreams that begin to appear, feelings and emotions, new memories that suddenly show themselves, or old ones that now make sense with a new meaning.
In psychotherapy, there is room for everything and anything that goes in the patient’s mind or body. We leave politically correctness outside the room. The patient is encouraged to look inside and tell us how he feels, and what goes on in his mind. This is, of course, easier said than done. It is rare to grow up with parents who fully accept their children as they are, and all children learn to hide parts of themselves in order to win the love of their caregivers upon whom they are dependent. Freeing oneself from this self-destructive shame is one of the goals of psychotherapy.
Since we are working to achieve structural change in the personality and to reach an inner harmony in areas in life which are of the most concern to you, psychotherapy is not a quick fix; it requires patience over time. It is an inner adventure into the depths of the soul, and it can be very rewarding. In order to make the therapy emotionally meaningful, I recommend frequency of at least twice a week (more if applicable). As a psychotherapist in training under supervision, I can offer it at an affordable cost.
My training in psychoanalysis is done in the Vienna Association for Psychoanalysis. It is one of the two institutions in Austria that is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association, which was established by Sigmund Freud. (The other member institution is the Vienna Psychoanalytical Association)