Psychodynamic Counselling

Psychodynamic Counselling helps you to understand why you feel the way you do about certain things. You can work with Matthew Sweet to explore these thoughts and in turn, grow and evolve into a better version of yourself. 

Matthew Sweet from Sweet Mental Health, Mental Health Support in Exeter and online

Your life experience matters

When working with clients as a Psychodynamic Therapist it is important to pay attention to emotional states in speech and non-verbal communication known as transference. It will be for me to hold you in a safe space to explore the unknown parts of your individuality, or the individuality such as the inner child or adolescent self in the present.

When we meet the younger self we will discuss deep levels of conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings. We will work on hearing more from the present self, or versions of the self to get to know more of who you are, and perhaps who you feel you would like to become. These techniques work with free association, exploration, and interpretation of unconscious motivation, emotions, drivers and relationships. Don’t worry, these are terms which will be explained if and when they happen when we work together.

It was started with the psychoanalytical thinking of Freud and others which was further developed using psychodynamic counselling. His interest was in how the mind worked while relieving distress in therapy. Each session will look at thoughts, feelings and behaviour of assumptions and the client’s belief system.

Your Psychodynamic Therapy

During your client assessment, it will be important to note what topics and content matter to you using interpretation and observation skills. When working face to face in Gandy Street, Exeter or online, the psychodynamic approach will be used in most sessions. It will be important for me to watch and monitor how comfortable and trusting you feel to share the narrative you have witnessed and experienced in life so far.

For many, there is a preconception that when the methods of Freud and some other psychoanalysts look to parents and fault-finding with them. I would contest this assumption. Instead, we will work through how it felt in all parts of you to be a person cared for by biological parents or caregivers.

Two exercises we will do is to use journalling a timeline which shows your narrative and experience on it, as well as dream journals. It is recommended this modality is used on a weekly basis because the person in counselling works at a deeper level.

Sweet Mental Health - Man and map illustration
Matthew Sweet from Sweet Mental Health, Mental Health Support in Exeter and online

What if I feel afraid of my past memories?

As a psychodynamic counsellor is important to hold and support negative and positive changes and feelings in mental health over each session – this is what makes it bespoke to you. This will enable better emotional understanding to feel, think and understand yourself, and others better. In witnessing your anxiety it is possible for you to experience the reality it brings with it to assist in a way to manage it. People often hide their emotions which involves the relation with caregiving in the past and present. As a psychodynamic counsellor, it is my responsibility to hold the unpleasant, destructive and shameful feelings as well as the loving ones brought up in psychodynamic therapy.

A reality in our world and within the self is the split you may have experiencing stress, trauma or abuse. This brings about insecurities, denial, damage, idealisation and denigration. These are differences which clients may work with to tolerate what they are witnessing with the self and the external world. This is known as ‘projection identification’ which should be met with curiosity to seek out solutions. Factors that matter when reorienting ourselves by changing these phantasies come from the relationship we have with emotional learning. My service as a Psychodynamic Therapist will support, and accompany you to get to learn more.

Where can Psychodynamic Counselling help?

There are good examples which suggest this type of counselling is important when looking at the repetition of patterns, beliefs and values. An example would be a career change or working in a job which does not bring satisfaction, purpose or creates sadness in you. There could be societal or family influences which exist either consciously, or perhaps even out of awareness which we could discover. The therapy room is a good place to discover what negative and positive emotions and feelings come up for you so eventually you will know which part of you links back to patterns of thoughts.

Further challenges people face comes from the terminology of ‘normal’ lifestyles; perhaps you would like to discover more about sexuality, gender stereotypes and what it means to exist in your community. There are many aspects of psychodynamic counselling which help guide a person. For me, it enables turning on lights within my mind, and self. And as psychodynamic counselling takes place you build up resilience to ask, what is actually happening? Is it familiar? It feels to me that this type of counselling helps to observe daily routines to look to trust yourself more and grow into healthier patterns of behaviour.

The other version of how people, places and actions effect us could be that we do not want our children to feel what you did in their life, and future generations.

Sweet Mental Health - female doing yoga illustration
Matthew Sweet from Sweet Mental Health, Mental Health Support in Exeter and online

How will I know Psychodynamic Counselling is helping?

It can be really hard to ask for help and by accepting private therapy as a place to do this it is possible to name what it is you have held onto in the conscious, or unconscious self. I believe that the body carries a great of pain from trauma and abuse. It could be that you are struggling with health anxiety and would like support and help to manage the reoccurring thoughts around these difficulties. By working together, you can name everything which you may want to work through or work with together. As a trained psychodynamic therapist my role is to provide a space for you.

As a keen advocate for science and peer-reviewed evidence which supports types of counselling, it is important to me to tell you that people acknowledge some of the Freudian approaches are being disproven with advances in modern science, like neurological images. Similarly, there are still a lot of people working on twentieth-century theories which support what takes place in and out of our awareness. I think this is reason enough to include working in the therapy room in this way. By being open and free to discuss what is taking place for you there is a rich level of learning to be had.

If you would like further support and advice, about Psychodynamic Counselling, contact me here, or book an introductory call. This could be a really good time to begin a private counselling experience.

Bespoke Counselling Package

50-minute Integrative Counselling sessions (weekly or fortnightly).
Online, telephone or face to face appointments in Gandy Street, Exeter.
Only £49 per session

“Through the mindfulness practice with Matt, complemented with Yoga the transformation I feel in me is just outstanding. Having readjusted my approach to me and my life as a whole, I can honestly confess to loving the ‘new’ me. Being calmer, patient, receptive and therefore realising that I achieve so much more from my day to day living is possibly the most valuable tool we can give ourself”

Kerry Godley-McAvoy, Event & Account Management, Team Army Sports Foundation

“You will not find a more professional individual than this man. Incredible listener and responder. Thoroughly trained with an immense calmness and inviting warm personality. You will meet humanity personified head on! You will feel elated when you receive help and a listening ear. Recommend thoroughly.”

Rasvinder Virdee, Torquay Photo Centre

“Matthew is kind, non judgemental and holds a level of wisdom and observance not often seen in the field of therapy. He will give you the tools you need to change your life, you just need to take the leap of faith.”

Jack Howard, Weston Super Mare