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Insight-oriented approaches


Psychodynamic approaches refer to psychotherapeutic techniques that derive from Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. These approaches focus on unconscious processes as they are manifested in the patient’s current behavior. The goals of psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy are for the patient to develop self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.

A variety of different approaches to psychodynamic psychotherapy have evolved from Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, and they have been clinically applied to a wide range of psychological disorders. There is a body of research that generally supports the efficacy of these approaches.


Psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy are rooted in psychodynamic therapy, the forerunner of modern therapeutic approaches. Freud’s psychoanalysis is a type of psychodynamic therapy, and is based in a highly structured and layered theory of human development...

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Brandwein, D. (2011). Psychodynamic Approaches. In: Goldstein, S., Naglieri, J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA.

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