Psychodynamic therapy is rooted in psychoanalysis, where a therapist observes the psychological processes of the client’s brain in order to address these problems and reduce their symptoms. Central to psychodynamic therapy is the relationship between therapist and patient. For example, when the therapist is put in a parental position this can help to examine how the client interacts with their real parents and ways to improve this can be discussed. This type of therapy is versatile and can be short or long-term, and used to treat individuals, groups or couples.

A key principle of psychodynamic theory is that people try to forget their painful memories and emotions by keeping them in their unconscious through defence mechanisms, repression and denial. Psychodynamic therapists aim to get their client to talk about their emotions in order to uncover what troubles them and then reduce or remove these defence mechanisms.

Improvisational psychodynamic music therapy

Psychodynamic therapists may also use music in order to allow the client to express themselves or feel more comfortable during a session. Various musical instruments are used by the client even if they have no experience. Music therapists can then interpret how the client uses the instruments to uncover their personality traits and their underlying emotional difficulties. When the therapist joins in on making this music a strong bond can be built between therapist and client as a foundation for further therapy. Music can also be played during sessions to relax clients who may suffer from anxiety.