Brief (Short-term) Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Brief (Short-term) Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a psychotherapy that focuses on troubling feelings or thoughts that interfere with relationships, communication, and/or functioning. Brief (short-term) psychotherapy differs from long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy by being much briefer and time-limited treatment.

Malan's Triangle of Conflict is often used to address issues that come up in short-term psychodynamic therapy:

  1. Defenses (e.g. - changing the subject, ignoring, minimizing)
  2. Anxiety (e.g. - worry, panic, fear, anxiety, guilt, shame)
  3. Feelings (e.g. - anger, grief, joy, love, pride)

If the primary focus is/are:

  • Feelings, then the therapist explores feelings
  • Anxiety, the therapist helps regulate anxiety, and then explore feelings.
  • Defenses, the therapist helps the individual see and let go of defenses, then explore feelings that might be behind the defenses.