Psychodynamic & Psychoanalytic Treatment


Introduction: The clinical practice is open to all adult members of the community seeking private psychological services. Individuals seeking therapy are initially screened for applicability and suitability for Psychodynamic or Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. This process usually takes place in the first session.

Individuals who appear to be appropriate and who would benefit from the therapies offered and who are open and motivated to engage in Psychotherapeutic work will be formally accepted as patients and initiate treatment. Individuals who would not benefit from this type of therapy will not be accepted as patients and potential alternatives will be recommended. Until this determination is made and a contract for formal treatment is initiated no applicant is considered to be a patient of the practice nor has a psychotherapeutic relationship been entered into.

The practice has a strong interest in the special needs of executives, professionals, leaders, creative / performance artists, athletes and occupational/employment issues related to psychological health. The clinical services are offered through the Centre for Executive and Professional Renewal and Recovery. Please click here > Centre for Executive and Professional Renewal and Recovery, Pneuma Consulting Group

In addition to the psychological treatment and evaluation practice, services are offered to executives and professionals focusing both on clinical "self-leadership issues" along with executive consultations, coaching and performance enhancement for high achieving individuals. These services focus on the enhancement of emotional intelligence, stress resilience and mental toughness training.


Treatment from a psychoanalytic perspective not only assists a person experience relief from debilitating symptoms, but to help that person understand the underlying causes of the symptoms. This approach helps with both the immediate struggle but also has as an aim to help a person address her or his underlying issues that caused the problems in the first place.



I.S.T.D.P. is a form of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. The basic premise of I.S.T.D.P. is very similar to that of psychoanalyses with the notion that early life disturbance, conflicts and traumas can create deeply conflicted cognitions, wishes and emotions that become walled off and buried deep in the subconscious mind. These disowned experiences are not only repressed but covered up by anxiety and defensive mechanisms that in themselves can range from non functional to very deeply troubling. Resultant anxiety and non workable defense mechanisms can express themselves in the form of psychological, emotional, behavioural as well as relational and physical or psycho-somatic symptoms. The core underlying conflicts driving the negative symptoms and often very painful life experience is typically unconsciousness and totally unknown to the patient. I.S.T.D.P. practitioners believe that a significant percentage of individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, depression, mood disorders, trauma and dissociative disorders, addictions and substance abuse issues, relational difficulties and unexplained medical symptoms of a suspected psycho-somatic origin may in fact be suffering from repressed unconscious conflict.

The I.S.T.D.P. treatment approach is to assist the patient by examining their often unworkable and unconscious defenses focusing on the patient’s repressed feelings and memories allowing for a deep healing and resolution process as the ancient repressed feelings, memories and conflicts are fully released, processed and brought to full healthy resolution. A successful therapy allow for the dissipation of long represented anxiety, the surrender of no longer required and often pathological defenses with the overall goal of both positive personality function and the termination of the individual symptom(s). I.S.T.D.P. has undergone a significant amount of clinical-scientific study which attests to its successful outcome.

Treatment scheduling can be scheduled in weekly one (1) hour sessions but has often been found to be quite effective when scheduled in an initial2.5-3 hour block session followed by additional 2-3 hour block formats. This flexibility in scheduling is often utilized by people traveling from out of town or country to access I.S.T.D.P. treatment.



Based on the metapsychology and principles similar to that found in classical psychoanalysis Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is delivered in a less frequent session schedule. The focus of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is to work through an often primarily unconscious defense structure to discover, fully experience and resolve long forgotten and repressed cognitions, emotions, conflicts and both major or was well as often an accumulation of “small T" traumatic experiences that have led to the presently psychological, emotional, relational and often unexplained medical symptoms that an individual is suffering with. Treatment typically uses defensive restructuring and assists the patient in exploring previously buried unconscious thoughts, feelings, conflicts and often long forgotten experiences that are contributing to the current symptom related suffering of the patient.

Typically, patents are seen 1-2 time per week for one hour sessions.



Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to treatment that combines the best aspects of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies into one unified model. Schema-Focused Therapy has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative ("maladaptive") patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other methods and efforts they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful.

The Schema-Focused model identified that many people had long-standing patterns or themes in thinking, feeling and behaving/coping that required a different means of intervention. Schema therapy helps patients to address and modify these deeper patterns or themes, also known as "schemas" or "lifetraps."

The schemas that are targeted in treatment are enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin early in life. These patterns consist of negative/dysfunctional thoughts and feelings, have been repeated and elaborated upon, and pose obstacles for accomplishing one's goals and getting one's needs met. Some examples of schema beliefs are: "I'm unlovable," "I'm a failure," "People don't care about me," "I'm not important," "Something bad is going to happen," "People will leave me," "I will never get my needs met," "I will never be good enough," and so on.

Although schemas are usually developed early in life (during childhood or adolescence), they can also form later, in adulthood. The Schema-Focused model of treatment is designed to help the person to break these negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, which are often very tenacious, and to develop healthier alternatives to replace them.



Psychoanalysis can be highly transformative. Patients often choose psychoanalytic treatment which is the most intensive form of the psychotherapy after having first attempted one or even many other forms of counselling, psychotherapy or even medication that simply has not worked. Often psychoanalysis is the selected form of treatment when psychological-emotional difficulties have been both of a long standing chronic nature and have caused a great deal of personal, relational and/or professional suffering and dysfunction. While there are many different forms of psychoanalysis the treatment focus centers around a number of common principles, including:

  • The centrality of unconscious intra-psychic conflict emanating from past and often very early life experience.
  • Non functional and often pathological defenses and anxiety operating subconsciously to keep the internal conflicts or traumas outside conscious awareness.
  • The development of psychological symptoms and other major life relational difficulties as a non workable way for the psyche to attempt to manage non manageable unconscious internal tension. This maladaptive internal tension tends to often have its basic core roots based on negative early life experience and are generally chronic and unremitting. In classical psychoanalysis the patient usually makes use of the psychoanalytic couch for the purpose of relaxation and concentration on the therapeutic task. Free association, dream analysis, defensive resistance work, interpretation along with other methods are utilized to move past the defensive structure, identify past but still psychically operative negative memories, repressed negative conflicts and emotional states and to resolve the psycho-emotional and relational issues by creating profound insight and release of long repressed negative emotions along with creating a more mature defensive structure, resolving internal tension and thus promoting both a healthy personality structural change along with symptom resolution and removal

Patients in psychoanalytic therapy are typically seen 4-5 times per week for one (1) hour sessions.


CLINICAL HYPNOSIS is a therapeutic technique in which clinicians make suggestions to individuals who have undergone a procedure designed to relax them and focus their minds. In the hypnotic state, which is an altered state of consciousness, awareness, and perception, suggestibility is heightened. Both parts of the mind (conscious and subconscious) are more receptive to acceptable, therapeutic suggestions than they are in an ordinary waking state. Even in a light hypnotic “trance”, with the patient’s permission, the “doorway” to his or her subconscious mind opens. This makes it possible for the hypnotist to provide information to the patient’s subconscious in a form that the subconscious can accept. Most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, psycho-physiological, anxiety, mood, habit and addiction disorders.



Is the most advanced form of therapeutic hypnosis. It is a very structured Psychoanalytic approach to resolving the underlying or root cause of the problem, rather than just the symptom. It combines both hypnosis and hypnotherapy and adds additional advanced techniques and tools. In the relaxed hypnotic state, the subconscious mind is more accessible. Hypnoanalysis uses various techniques to allow the subconscious mind to reveal the original cause of the problem so that, working together, the client and therapist can understand and resolve the origin of the problem ratherthan just treat the symptom.



Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (E.M.D.R.) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that E.M.D.R. therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with E.M.D.R. therapy, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During E.M.D.R. therapy the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used (Shapiro, 1991). Shapiro (1995, 2001) hypothesizes that E.M.D.R. therapy facilitates the accessing of the traumatic memory network, so that information processing is enhanced, with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories or information. These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights. E.M.D.R. therapy uses a three pronged protocol: (1) the past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction are processed, forging new associative links with adaptive information; (2) the current circumstances that elicit distress are targeted, and internal and external triggers are desensitized; (3) imaginal templates of future events are incorporated, to assist the client in acquiring the skills needed for adaptive functioning.



Short term intensive: Select individuals seeking an integrated Ego state, E.M.D.R., Analytical hypnotherapy psychotherapeutic experience that is intensive and depth oriented can be evaluated for suitability and appointments may be arranged by special request only. As many people will travel from outside the Ottawa area for the treatment experience weekend appointments may be made available.

What It Is and How It Works 

Ego state therapy was designed to provide an intensive psychotherapeutic experience that may allow for a deep and lasting clinical impact that might be achieved if successful in a matter of days as opposed to months or many years of psychotherapy. Traditional ego state therapy is offered to clients in blocks of one to three days with follow up sessions at a later period if required. Clients often come from International locations to engage in short intensive periods of psychotherapy that are not available to them where they reside.


Developmental ego state therapy is a therapeutic approach based on what is known about how a child’s brain develops within a healthy family. It was designed to treat present-day problems that originated with unmet childhood needs. It has been found helpful for treating depression, anxiety, panic disorder, social phobias, substance abuse, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, obsessions/compulsions, sexual abuse, eating disorders, dissociative disorders, borderline personality disorder, sexual addiction, self-injurious behavior and complicated grief. It has also been used to resolve memories of painful physical, emotional, or sexual traumas that were inflicted by a person.