Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

Cover of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (medium)
List Price: $99.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $69.95
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories

Format: DVD [Closed Captioned]
Availability: In Stock
Running Time: over 100 minutes
Item #: 4310903
ISBN: 978-1-4338-1276-7
Copyright: 2013
APA Psychotherapy Training Videos are intended solely for educational purposes for mental health professionals. Viewers are expected to treat confidential material found herein according to strict professional guidelines. Unauthorized viewing is prohibited.

Short-term dynamic psychotherapy applies psychoanalytic principles to define and understand the dynamics and problems that clients bring to the therapy session. The aim of this approach is to uncover the feelings or thoughts that interfere with a client's relationships, communication, and daily functioning.

To be effective, the therapist must work quickly to engage the client in the therapeutic process, uncovering defenses and gaining the trust of the client in a brief time. As the therapist forms an alliance that allows honest communication, both parties explore any relevant historical and current events that may prevent healthy functioning.

In this video, Donald K. Freedheim works with a single parent who initially presents with concerns and anxieties about her daughter's well-being. As the demonstration unfolds, Dr. Freedheim deftly shifts the focus back to the client herself and uncovers the client's key issue — her unexpressed anger — and explores how that anger has interfered with the development of healthy relationships.


Short-term psychodynamic therapy focuses on troubling feelings or thoughts that interfere with relationships, communication, and/or functioning at school or at work. The aim of therapy is to uncover the sources of the feelings or thoughts that are often hidden from the client.

The therapist needs to enlist the client's trust, form an alliance that will allow honest communication, and explore relevant historical and current events that prevent healthy functioning.  The therapy may also include cognitive and behavior techniques that deal with symptoms and habits that inhibit healthy functioning.

About the Therapist

Donald K. Freedheim, PhD, is professor emeritus of psychology at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He is a past president of APA's Division 29 (Psychotherapy), and he edited the Division's journal, Psychotherapy.

Dr. Freedheim also edited the first edition of History of Psychotherapy (1992) and co-edited the second edition in 2011. He is the founding editor of the APA journal Professional Psychology.

Dr. Freedheim was in part-time clinical practice and is a Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academies of Practice. He currently serves on the Trauma Response Team of the Cleveland chapter of the American Red Cross.


I came away impressed with this video and enthusiastic about using it as a teaching tool in the future. I would recommend it highly to students and teachers of psychotherapy who want an accurate and immediate glimpse of a contemporary psychodynamic method.

Suggested Readings
  • Abbass, A. A., Hancock, J. T., Henderson, J., & Kisely, S. (2009). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies for common mental disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(4). doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004687.pub3.
  • Crits-Christoph, P., & Barber, S. P. (Eds.). (1991). Handbook of short-term dynamic psychotherapy. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., et al. (2010). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression and dysthymia: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 51–62.
  • Davanloo, H. (2005). Intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy. In H. Kaplan & B. Sadock (Eds.), Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 8th ed. (Vol. 2, 2628–2652). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Willams & Wilkins.
  • Goldfried, M. R., Glass, C. R., & Arnkoff, D. B. (2011). Integrative approaches to psychotherapy. In J. C. Norcross, G. R. VandenBos, & D. K. Freedheim (Eds.), History of psychotherapy (2nd ed.; pp. 269–296. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Leichsenring, F., & Leibing, E. (2007). Psychodynamic psychotherapy: a systematic review of techniques, indications and empirical evidence. Psychological Psychotherapy, 80, 217–228.
  • Leichsenring, F., Rabung, S., & Leibing, E. (2004). The efficacy of short term psychodynamic psychotherapy in specific psychiatric disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 1208–1216.
  • Levy, R. A., & Ablon, J. S. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy. New York, NY: Humana Press.
  • Norcross, J. C. (Ed). (2011). Psychotherapy relationships that work (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford Press.
  • Town, J. M., Abbass, A., & Hardy, G. (2011). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for personality disorders: a critical review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Personality Disorders, 25, 723–740. DOI: 10.1521/pedi.2011.25.6.723.
  • Wachtel, P. L. (2008). Relational theory and the practice of psychotherapy. New York, NY: Guilford.

APA Videos

APA Books

Legal Notice
Thank you for your interest in the APA Psychotherapy Video Series.
These videos are intended for practicing professionals in the mental health and health professions and for graduate students in training for these professions.