Episode description:

We discuss the generic nature of the term ‘psychotherapy’ – how it refers to a large number of different clinical encounters. We focus on the unique properties of dynamic psychotherapy, a treatment that focuses on the repetitive relationship patterns that have limited the lives of those seeking new opportunities. Attention is given to how these maladaptive patterns get unknowingly replayed in the setting with the therapist. The emotional demands this places on the therapist are considerable and require themselves to have been in their own therapy to learn how their own mind works. Intellectual insight is not transformative – emotional reliving and reworking is. We close by reviewing the research findings on standardized treatments and their comparison with the longer-lasting benefits from dynamic psychotherapy.


Our guest:

Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), faculty member at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and Consulting Supervisor at California Pacific Medical Center.

His article The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy won worldwide acclaim for firmly establishing psychoanalytic therapy as an evidence-based treatment. He is the author of numerous scientific and scholarly articles, creator of the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP) for personality diagnosis and clinical case formulation, and co-author of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2).

He has more than 25 years’ experience teaching and supervising psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts. Dr. Shedler lectures internationally, leads workshops for professional audiences, consults to U.S. and international government agencies, and provides expert clinical consultation to mental health professionals worldwide.