Psychodynamic Therapy & Couples Counseling

As the oldest of modern therapies, psychodynamic therapy is based on a highly developed and multifaceted theory of human development and interaction. Psychodynamic therapy is an insight-oriented approach that focuses on unconscious emotions that manifest in behavior.

The psychodynamic approach is well suited for couples in counseling because it helps to identify emotions that manifest in behavior, it allows the focus of the sessions to be on the unique situation of each individual client, and it takes into account how past relationship experiences affect current relationships.

One of the main goals of psychodynamic therapy is client self-awareness and understanding of how the past can influence present behavior. It can help work through past conflicts as well as issues arising from past dysfunctional relationships. It is derived from the psychoanalytical method that Sigmund Freud discovered. Freud understood that the human mind or psyche was made up of several different levels and that it is the unconscious mind that contains events from our past. He felt that forgotten experiences can still affect our present behavior. In order to treat this, Freud developed a method by which memories and associations could be brought to the surface and examined in order to modify cour current behavior.

Although Freud was an early pioneer in the field, the actual principles of psychodynamics were first introduced in 1874. A German scientist named Ernst Wilhelm von Bruce published Lectures on Psychology in which he suggested that all living organisms are energy systems and that they are governed by the principle of energy conservation. The conservation of energy principle states that energy can change from one form to another but it can never be destroyed. Later that year, Freud adopted the concept and application of psychodynamics to aid his own concept of the human psyche. This was later developed further by Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Otto Rank, and Melanie Klein.

The therapeutic relationship in psychodynamic counseling is based on acceptance, empathy, and understanding, with an emphasis on developing a good working alliance that fosters trust. This relationship creates a safe environment that promotes healing.

If you feel you need couples counseling to become closer to or better understand your partner, please contact Jennifer De Francisco, MPAMSW, LCSW of Newport Beach, CA at (949) 251-8797.

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Featured Testimonials

Chris B.5.0
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Kids are always hard and as a parent it's not always easy to see objectively what is really going on. Jennifer helped me talk through challenges/issues with my oldest son that were running through my head. In the end she provided me a solid perspective to build on and because of that I have been able to manage the situation much better. Easy conversation and very helpful.
Ravenna S.5.0
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Jennifer is such a wonderful and genuine therapist. She is extremely kind and understanding. She comprehends couple and mental health problems precisely. I would definitely recommend her to anyone that is seeking help.
Ravenna5.0
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Jennifer is such a wonderful and genuine therapist. She is extremely kind and understanding. She comprehends couple and mental health problems precisely. I would definitely recommend her to anyone that is seeking help.
Timothy 5.0
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I have been seeing Jennifer De Francisco for about a year, and she has helped me so much with the unhappiness I thought would never go away. Jennifer’s compassion and empathy made me feel safe enough to open up and talk about the uncomfortable feelings I didn’t even know were causing my sadness. With Jennifer’s help, I am now aware of my negative thoughts. Instead of avoiding them, I can work through them. She has helped change my life.
Denise5.0
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It was tough when we first started with Jennifer , but through difficult conversations and understanding some of the causes of how closed off we were to each other, we worked through it and are in a good place. The idea that we could break up is the furthest thing from my mind now, and going in to work on our relationship was the best thing to do. One of the things that really helped was that I felt Jennifer really cared that our relationship worked and that we improved things between us. I think that is rare, and always helped me not give up hope.
George S.5.0
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I know people hate to hear this, but relationships take work, especially with kids and stress. I would suggest relationship counseling for any married couple, even if it were just monthly or when things get tough. We continue to see Jennifer after our initial problem because it keeps us on track. Best of luck to all couples looking for help- Jennifer is a wonderful resource.