The Psychodynamic approach is derived from Psychoanalysis, which is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, but focuses on immediate problems to try to provide a quicker solution. It stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour.


A therapist will aim to build an accepting and trusting relationship – encouraging the client to talk about their childhood and other relationships. It also uses techniques such as free association, interpretation and transference, where feelings you experienced in previous significant relationships are projected onto the therapist.

This kind of psychoanalysis is used to treat adjustment disorders, personality-related disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), all of which often present alongside addiction.