Sigmund Freud developed a collection of theories which have formed the basis of the psychodynamic approach, the oldest of the modern therapies. The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals to unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process.
In order to ensure these memories and experiences do not surface, many people will develop defences, such as denial and projections. According to psychodynamic therapy, these defences will often do more harm than good.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts as they are manifested in our present behavior. It aims to help develop greater self-awareness and an understanding of the influence of past relationships and experiences on us.
Through self-awareness clients can learn new patterns of behaviour and ways of thinking that promote personal development and growth - helping them to overcome any limitations caused by unconscious feelings.