Coinneach Shanks: Psychotherapy in Dublin


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What is psychodynamic?

Psychodynamic is not an easy concept to handle. But if you think of it as based on the principles of physics that we learn at secondary school, it's a little easier. So ... building on the work of Freud, Carl Gustav Jung developed  psychodynamic principles, modelling these on the first and second principles of thermodynamics. 

According to Jung, the mental sphere has conscious and unconscious parts. He thought it was divided up into a number of closed systems that interacted together.

These mental systems take in energy from the environment (you can think of it as petrol and air going into an automobile) and so the person is energised. But the way in which these inputs get distributed around the psychic systems looks like this: 

The Principle of Equivalence assumes that if the amount of energy in your psyche decreases or disappears, then the same amount of energy appears somewhere else. Take an example. Anxiety can be like spinning your car wheels. Energy ends up as vibration and noise. Through psychotherapy, you have the ability to heal yourself through finding out what has happened and rerouting energy elsewhere. Your energy can be positively relocated. 


The Principle of Entropy states that energy in the psyche seeks equilibrium or balance among all of the structures of the psyche. The mental system is looking for balance. Psychotherapy means that you start to balance your mental activities! Like tuning the engine.

Jung once stated that "nothing leaves the psyche". Just as in physics, psychic elements are conserved! But in the therapeutic relationship, the client is enabled to work on the self, helping the client to recognise and integrate these elements to achieve balance. In fact the client is the only person that can do it!

If you interested in finding out more, the key psychodynamic concepts used by Jung are psychic energy, libido, value, equivalence, entropy, progression, regression and canalisation. This very much the scientific side of Jung.