In Affect-Focused Dynamic Psychotherapy, Dr. Leigh McCullough demonstrates a system of therapy aimed at getting through a client’s defense structure to elicit emotions. Because people tend to avoid difficult feelings, they often erect obstacles to experiencing emotion. According to this system of therapy, these emotional blocks usually lie at the core of a client’s presenting problems.
In the session shown, Dr. McCullough works with a young mother named Janice who, although she appears very strong, is actually emotionally rigid and resistant to experiencing her feelings. The example session illustrates how a client first sees her pattern of defense, then works through it and begins to change her sense of self and others.