The complexity of addiction treatment lies in the paradox of one trying to help another who does not want to be helped. Most addicts fail to get treatment because of their failure to recognize the problem at its onset. This failure eventually leads to more serious problems and complications that make treatment difficult. Addiction usually comes hand in hand with mental diseases due to the mind-altering nature of most drugs and alcohol. One of the methods used today in the treatment of addiction is psychodynamic therapy; a method where repressed thoughts and emotions are brought out into the open so psychic tension is relieved.
Psychodynamic therapy, also known as psychoanalytic psychotherapy, is a general approach that includes therapeutic approaches that try to tap into an individual’s unconscious in an attempt to address hidden thoughts and emotions. It is heavily reliant on the interpersonal relationship between the addict and the therapist because no therapist can explore an individual’s unconscious without first gaining this individual’s trust. It is similar in most respects to psychoanalysis, though psychodynamic therapy tends to be shorter and less intensive.
Psychodynamic therapy, like psychoanalysis, holds on to the belief that there is an unconscious mind that exists in all individuals. This unconscious mind is the repository of memories and emotions an individual finds too difficult or too painful to face. A therapist’s mission is to bring all this out in the open and determine which of these is the root cause of addiction. In this approach, a therapist must completely accept an addict whatever the circumstances. This is important in building a rapport with the addict so he or she will pour out his or heart to the therapist. The therapist must then judge, based on knowledge and experience, how an addict feels during the dialogue.
Psychodynamic therapy is a very unpredictable process, but it may reveal a side of the addict one has never seen before. What a therapist uncovers during therapy may mean the difference between complete recovery and a relapse.