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Contemporary psychodynamic-based therapies are the descendants of the first psychological model of human development and the first model for the practice of psychotherapy: psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytical theory has had a sweeping and profound influence. As the genesis of psychotherapy, virtually every other form of therapy that has followed can be seen as an extension of, modification to, or reaction against psychodynamic principles. Moreover, in ways that no other psychological theory has achieved, psychodynamic thought has interacted with the broader culture; it has been integrated into numerous academic fields, particularly the arts and humanities, and into popular culture itself. Despite such pervasiveness, some scholars believe that psychodynamic psychotherapy is a frequently misunderstood approach. It often either is described in dense, highly specialized terminology, understood only by those ...

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