Psychodynamic psychotherapy for moderate to severe depression

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a talking therapy, where you meet on your own with a psychotherapist. The sessions are unstructured which means you can discuss whatever is on your mind. Your psychotherapist will listen carefully to what you say and notice if there are patterns or possible links to other events in your life, which you might not recognise yourself (this process is called making interpretations). Understanding the patterns in how you feel about things, your relationships and past events (particularly those which have been traumatic or upsetting) can help you change how you feel.  

Sessions tend to be once a week and are usually about 50 minutes long. Treatment takes place over at least 30 weeks. Your psychotherapist will adjust how they approach the sessions according to your needs, for example, younger children or people who find it harder to talk about feelings might be encouraged to use drawing or play whereas for older young people the sessions will mostly involve talking.  

Psychodynamic psychotherapy might be recommended for you if you have moderate to severe depression which has not responded to another type of treatment (such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy for adolescents (IPT-A) or family therapy).

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.





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