Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapy understands that symptoms (e.g. anxiety) are an expression of an underlying difficulty (e.g. a fear of judgement) and hence the same symptoms can point to different underlying issues in different people. Because of this, psychodynamic psychotherapy is not principally concerned with kinds of symptoms (e.g. depression, anxiety etc.) or specific disorders. Its focus is instead on understanding each person’s different underlying dynamics.

There is good evidence that this approach works well and that it can successfully treat a wide variety of conditions or disorders. It is particularly helpful with clients who have difficulties in their relationships, in handling the pressures of everyday living and with disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self-harm. It is also valuable in helping those who may have been affected by psychological, physical or sexual abuse.