Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology, the primary focus of which is to reveal the unconscious content of a client's psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension.  In this way, it is similar to psychoanalysis, however, psychodymanic therapy tends to be more brief and less intensive than psychoanalysis, and also relies more on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist than do other forms of depth psychology. In terms of approach, this form of therapy also tends to be more eclectic than others, taking techniques from a variety of sources, rather than relying on a single system of intervention. It is a focus that has been used in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, family therapy, and to understand and work with institutional and organizational contexts.
The principles of psychodynamics were first introduced in the 1874 publication Lectures on Physiology by German scientist Ernst von Brucke. Brücke, taking a cue from thermodynamics, suggested that all living organisms are energy systems, governed by the principle of energy conservation. During the same year, Brucke was supervisor to first-year medical student Sigmund Freud at the University of Vienna. Freud later adopted this new construct of “dynamic” physiology to aid in his own conceptualization of the human psyche. Later, both the concept and application of psychodynamics was further developed by the likes of Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Melanie Klein.
Most psychodynamic approaches centered around the idea that some maladaptive functioning is in play, and that this maladaption is, at least in part, unconscious. The presumed maladaption develops early in life, and it is posited that in later years the client will begin to feel some dissonance in their day to day lives as a function of this paradigm. The psychodynamic therapist first intervenes to treat the discomfort associated with the poorly formed function, then helps the client acknowledge the existence of the maladaption, while working with the client to develop strategies for change.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy demands considerable introspection and reflection on the part of the client. It also relies on the client's desire to be helped to support its effectiveness, as well as the client's willingness to reveal themselves, and their level of insight. Consequently, the client must possess enough resilience and ego-strength to manage the strong emotions this form of therapy may provoke.
- ↑ psychodynamic psychotherapy - guidetopsychology.com