Many people seek therapy for issues like depression, anxiety, or conflict. The same interpersonal patterns that led a person to therapy in the first place may start to resurface inside the treatment as the emotional intensity and closeness of the process increases. 

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is based on the ideas of psychodynamic theory. It uses intense and targeted treatment procedures in an effort to achieve long-lasting character development in a shorter amount of time. 

This article offers a guide to understanding ISTDP therapy and how to find a therapist online or near you to receive such therapy.

To support the work of the people working on, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with an ISTDP therapist online.

Price Comparison for ISTDP Therapy

In-person ISTDP therapy can cost between $100 to $200 on average per session. However, the prices will increase due to several factors, like transportation costs, the kind of therapist you see, and the duration of the therapy sessions.

To save time and money, you can opt for online therapy platforms such as BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers virtual therapy, which costs between $60 to $90, billed weekly. The subscription offers unlimited messages, live chat, and video and audio call with the assigned therapists.

The best part about virtual therapy is that you can get therapy in the comfort of your house or wherever you feel comfortable. Plus, it saves a lot of transportation costs and time, unlike in-person therapy. 

In-person therapy BetterHelp
$100 to $200 per session

$60 to $90 per week

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What Is ISTDP?

Intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy is helpful in treating a wide variety of clinical issues, and because of its targeted approach, clients can change quickly. 

The ISTDP is a relational, active treatment in which we jointly explore how you relate to and experience your emotions as well as potential blocks to those feelings, which can result in various symptoms and challenges, including anxiety or physical inexplicable ailments.

The creator of this model, Habib Davanloo, first observed that a client could quickly change character by letting go of all emotional restraints. This therapy technique uses the client’s unconscious efforts to move therapy forward by transferring resistance.

During ISTDP therapy, therapists actively collaborate with their clients to help them overcome their issues by identifying the internal processes that fuel them. 

Therapists work together to discover new, more advantageous ways of being by observing how this occurs in the here and now. 

Understanding ISTDP Therapy

ISTDP was created by Dr. Habib Davanloo of McGill University and is now being studied and practiced at the Centre for Emotions and Health in Halifax, Canada. Relationship disruptions and trauma result in a cascade of complicated emotions that may be repressed and ignored. 

Events in later life that trigger these emotions may cause anxiety and raise defensive mechanisms. This fundamental discovery was made by Davanloo between 1960 and 1970 using a sizable case series.

The main objective of ISTDP is to help the patient overcome their internal conflict with feelings and emotions related to past and present events that overwhelm them. Because it tackles these suppressed emotions and exposes the client to them to the extent in a short time.

Furthermore, it uses the unconscious as an ally in internal conflict and the transference of emotional conflict and upheaval. ISTDP has also established an integrated paradigm of thinking about attention. 

The primary skill the ISTDP helps patients acquire is this capacity for mindfulness. In other words, the ability to pay moment-to-moment attention to sensation, anxiety, and defense. 

Only with this form of awareness will the patient be able to identify the causes of their anxiety and the defenses that lead to their symptoms and current issues. Through this awareness, the patient can only know what to face and what to work on in therapy.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with an ISTDP therapist online.

To support the work of the people working on, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Symptoms ISTDP Therapy Treats

Relationship problems and various mental disorders resulting from anxiety and defenses that a person may be completely unaware of. This emotional obstruction is present in a significant fraction of all people with anxiety, drug misuse, depression, and interpersonal issues.

Increased bodily anxiety and unpleasant encounters with the healthcare system might result from anxiety and defensive mechanisms.

Additionally, these issues may indirectly result in disability and depression.

The urge to reclaim their life’s functioning and productivity drives clients to seek this treatment. Clients frequently experience both the visible outward signs of their interior traumas and overwhelming psychological symptoms of melancholy and anxiety. 

According to the ISTDP hypothesis, these manifestations result from traumatic experiences, unpleasant memories, and emotions too strong to manifest consciously.

A variety of physical and psychological symptoms and interpersonal problems can emerge from anxiety and defensive mechanisms that the individual experiencing may not even be aware of.

This emotional blockade is frequently present in those who suffer from anxiety, depression, drug misuse, somatization, and eating disorders.

The effectiveness of ISTDP as a therapy for a wide range of emotional issues such as personality problems, psychosomatic sickness, depression, and anxiety.

istdp therapists near me

Finding A ISTDP Therapist Online or Near Me

Find a therapist who specializes in the area of your issue while you are searching for one. For instance, you could require a therapist that specializes in ISTDP. 

Counseling requires significant time, effort, and financial commitment. Make sure the therapists you have chosen are the proper fit. The easiest approach to do that is to concentrate on your requirements.

Be truthful about your comfort level, and do not be scared to keep looking until you believe you have located a therapist who can assist you. Below are the ways you can find a therapist virtually or in person.

Online Therapy

You can use online platforms that provide affordable therapy. This may be useful if you have trouble leaving the house or utilizing public transportation. Video appointments can be just as beneficial as in-person ones when you can’t see a therapist in person.

BetterHelp may be your best bet. After the platform matches you with a therapist, you will be given access to a “room” where you can confidently contact them.

By increasing the pool of qualified mental health professionals from which to choose, removing the need to travel for an appointment, and lowering your out-of-pocket expenses, BetterHelp’s services may even help you find someone to talk to about your problems on a regular basis. 

You can schedule treatment sessions using a live chat, phone call, video chat, or messaging. You can mail your therapist, and they will reply if you wish to speak with them outside of your regular treatment appointments.

Recommendation from a Professional

After consulting with your doctor, they may suggest that you contact a particular service, which will subsequently get in touch with you. 

In some places, you can refer to a therapy service by contacting them directly. You might get the phone number for a service from your doctor, or you might locate one using directories.

Depending on your health coverage, you may want to find a therapist near you that’s covered by your insurance. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the entire cost out of pocket, which can be quite high for in-person therapy. 

Final Thoughts

ISTDP therapy produces notably quick and effective results. It is acknowledged as a practical treatment option for a wide range of clients since it brings about a change quickly and at a low cost. 

The healing process can start, and the client’s character can quickly change by removing the barriers that keep the unconscious emotions from coming to the surface.


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