Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)
I was fortunate to come across Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) and have the opportunity to train in this model with internationally pioneering and inspiring clinicians. I continue to have advanced trainings as well as offer supervision and teaching in this model.
What is ISTDP?
Initially developed by psychoanalyst Dr Habib Davanloo in the 1960s, ISTDP is an experiential form of therapy that emphasizes the unique therapeutic benefits of experiencing our true feelings about our experiences as insight and behavioural or practical changes alone can be insufficient for meaningful change. Although it shares its roots with psychoanalysis, by using an active, collaborative and structured approach, it effectively and explicitly addresses anxiety and emotional barriers that were necessary to have developed in the past but now contributing to unwanted symptoms, behaviours and distress.
Focusing on both body and mind
ISTDP invites you to pay careful attention to your body and mind, including bodily experience of physical anxiety and feelings, with the help of moment-to-moment attunement with your therapist for you to be more aware of what is going on inside you and in turn, learn to respond differently. A strong and positive therapeutic relationship is integral to ISTDP where the aim is to build a real, joint partnership to work together towards change.
ISTDP’s well-established evidence base continues to grow for a wide spectrum of emotional and psychiatric difficulties, including depression, anxiety, medically unexplained symptoms, substance abuse, eating disorders and personality disorders. It can also be effective for those who have not benefitted from other forms of therapy in the past by working directly with anxiety and emotional barriers that interfere with the therapeutic process.