“to be that self which one truly is”
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a modality which explores the underlying feelings and experiences which often drive our thought patterns and behaviours. Our ways of being with others, our defenses and our beliefs about ourselves develop early in life, continuing to strengthen and solidify with a rigidity that can greatly limit our lives and impact our relationships in the here and now. In psychodynamic psychotherapy, we work to understand why we carry negative experiences from our past and how we bring them forward with us in ways that inhibit intimacy and impede our sense of well-being.
Equipped with greater understanding and new insights, and with a new experience of trust and safety built from the alliance that is formed with a non-judgemental, empathic and dedicated therapist, we can begin to shed old defenses and behaviour patterns that have long lost the effectiveness we once believed that they provided. We are able to see old beliefs about ourselves and others for what they are and have been, beliefs that may have helped us to function in our past circumstances but have now outlived their usefulness. In therapy, we experience a reconnection with our “true self”, our essence that, at the deepest level, we have known and carried with us but were for a multitude of reasons afraid to let others see and experience.
Ultimately, psychotherapy can provide the means to re-acquaint and re-discover our authentic self. It can enable us, as Kierkegaard wrote, “to be that self which one truly is”. Therapy has the potential to move us beyond self-knowledge and self-awareness to that of experiencing ourselves, our true selves, with new found authenticity and agency, and with the capacity to live the life we have longed for.