Sometimes we need to talk but find it difficult to share our feelings with someone else in our circle of family, friends or colleagues. Other times, even when we feel safe and comfortable to talk, sharing feelings doesn’t seem to be of much help because the advice and reassurance we might receive is more about the other person’s personal views and feelings rather our own and most importantly, where these originate.
When talking to a psychodynamic therapist you should expect to be offered an opportunity to express your feelings in the presence of a professional who is interested in understanding your individual experience- no matter how undesirable you even may think your thoughts and feelings are- and be able to listen in an empathic and non-judgmental way. You should also expect your therapist to refrain in general from giving you direct and practical advice. Instead, you should be offered a second mind trained to collaboratively explore underlying emotional issues which often are hidden in the unconscious and beyond our rational thinking.
The working through of unresolved issues can help not only with symptom-relief but also with acquiring a better understanding of ourselves and our past. This, consequently, can lead to longer-term changes: inside, in the way we feel and the decisions we make, and outside, in the way we relate to others.