Symptom Relief Symptoms are those specific problems that cause a disturbance in a person’s life. Examples include tearfulness, excessive sadness, numerous worries, difficulties controlling one’s worries, withdrawal, reduced concentration, inability to focus well, excessive restlessness, sleep problems, etc.
The first objective of psychotherapy, as you can imagine, is to relieve these symptoms that initially bring the patient to treatment.
In my experience, symptom relief for most conditions occurs about as fast in psychodynamically oriented therapy as in other modalities of therapy. A patient’s “presenting problem” or “chief complaint”, which has typically become unbearable at the time the patient decides to give up commonsense self-treatment and see a psychologist, often goes away or reduces in intensity once a therapeutic relationship is secure.
Given the opportunity, many of my patients choose to remain in psychodynamic treatment with me not because they are not getting help but because they are. This is because we are pursuing goals of general mental health beyond the simple elimination of a particular disturbance. 🌱
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