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Exploratory (Psychodynamic) Psychotherapy

To make an appointment, please call (212) 305-6001 or submit our online form.

Facts to Know:

  • Exploratory psychotherapy (also known as psychodynamic psychotherapy) is originally derived from psychoanalysis and focuses on understanding unconscious thoughts and feelings.
  • In exploratory therapy, the patient and therapist work together to understand the origins of a patient’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in order to improve relationships and quality of life.
  • Exploratory psychotherapy can address problems with self-esteem, mood regulation, and relationships as well as depression and anxiety.

What is Exploratory Psychotherapy?

Exploratory therapy focuses on improving a person’s ability to understand themselves and the origins of the issues they face in order to live a more rewarding life and have healthier relationships. Exploratory therapy typically involves one to two sessions per week, and often lasts 6 months to one year or longer. This therapy can be used with individuals, couples, groups, and families.

What does Exploratory Psychotherapy treat?

Exploratory therapy is used to treat a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems, and trust issues.

How does Exploratory Psychotherapy work?

The focus of this therapy is reflecting on one’s current problems as they relate to prior experiences and relationships with the help of a trained therapist. Exploratory therapy places a special emphasis on the interaction between the therapist and the patient as it provides a window into relationships patterns of the patient. Throughout this therapy, the patient is encouraged to bring up thoughts or feelings related to the provider in order to explore possible relationship patterns.

Exploratory therapy uses many techniques to understand a patient’s unconscious thoughts and feelings. In particular, free association (saying whatever comes to one’s mind) is an important component of this treatment. Sharing dreams that the patient may have in the course of treatment is another useful element to this treatment.

Using the information explored during therapy sessions, patients are able to improve their self-awareness, self-esteem, mood regulation, and relationships. Progress from this form of therapy often becomes increasingly a part of the patient’s daily life over time, resulting in continued progress even after the treatment ends.

How can I receive Exploratory Psychotherapy at Columbia?

Here at ColumbiaDoctors, we have several clinicians with expertise in exploratory (psychodynamic) psychotherapy.

Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist with expertise in exploratory therapy.

To make an appointment, please call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.


Featured Provider:

Diana Samuel, MD

Diana Samuel, MD