Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a term that encompasses therapy of an analytical nature; essentially it is a form of depth psychology that focuses on the unconscious and past experiences, to determine current behaviour. Generally psychodynamic psychotherapists adhere to the theories and teaching of Freud and his followers. But psychodynamic therapy also draws upon techniques from a variety of sources, including the ideas of various other luminaries including Jung and Adler.
The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, the primary focus being to reveal the unconscious content of a client's psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. The therapist endeavours to keep his own personality out of the picture, in essence becoming a blank canvas onto which the client can transfer and project deep feelings about themselves, parents and other significant players in their life. The therapist remains focused on the dynamics between the client and the therapist.
Psychodynamic therapy tends to be less intensive and briefer than psychoanalysis, and also relies more on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist than do other forms of depth psychology. It is a focus that has been used in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, family therapy, and to understand and work with institutional and organisational contexts.