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Psychodynamic Therapy VS Directive Therapy

What’s the difference?

Both types of therapy have the aim of helping you to reduce or overcome the symptoms and distress associated with your particular problem.

The core difference between the Directive therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Psycho-dynamic therapies such as Psychoanalysis is that psycho-dynamic therapy tries to resolve the reasons WHY you feel the way that you do, to help to uncover deep and often unconscious motivations for certain feelings and thoughts.

Directive therapies, on the other hand, do not attempt to discover these deeper meanings, but aim to provide relief from suffering as quickly as possible by re-training your mind to replace any dysfunctional or distorted thought patterns or belief systems.

Features of Each Therapy

Directive Therapy

  • Relatively brief and time limited – typically 12 -24 weeks
  • Highly instructional with Homework a key element
  • Highly structured and guided by the Therapist
  • The focus is on “here-and-now” not the past
  • The Client-Therapist relationship is not a key factor

Psycho-dynamic Therapy

  • Can be brief, but typically 24 weeks or more
  • Less rigid session framework and no homework required
  • The Client’s pace sets the agenda for progress
  • Seeks to link the Past with the Present Symptomology
  • The Client-Therapist relationship is significant (Transference)

The Pros and Cons

Directive TherapyPsycho-dynamic Therapy
ProsDirective therapies foster the idea of independent effort on behalf of the client and therefore relies much less on the therapist.Engenders the idea of the Client-Therapist relationship and is therefore a collaborative experience.
 ProsAs the therapy takes place over a relatively short period of time, it can be less financially drainingTakes place over a longer period of time and tackles a wider range of issues.
 ProsIt’s quicker to produce results as it is very focused and doesn’t generalise.Because the object of the therapy is to uncover the causes of the dysfunctional thinking or behaviours, it is thought to be more effective in the longer term and in a more general way.
 ConsSome people find that it seems superficial and takes no account of their personal history.Some people find the uncovering and re-experiencing of emotions quite difficult and uncomfortable.
 ConsCan seem to down play emotions and over-emphasise logical thought oriented elements of a person life.Many find it difficult to believe that unconscious processes can be influencing a person’s behaviour and prefer a more logical approach.
 ConsMay have very little impact on some of the more deeply engrained behaviours and problems.Therapy requires the examination and consideration of both earlier experiences and the Therapy relationship which some do not like.

FREE Initial Consultations

We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your problems or your personal development. During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

At TranceForm we believe that therapy & coaching should be a collaboration between therapist and client so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help. Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking therapy with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

Want to Find Out More? Then Get in Touch Today.


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