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“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart....The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy". 

-Pema Chödrön


Our depth psychology approach makes therapeutic work with us unique. But what is depth psychology, and how does it differ from other psychotherapy approaches? Before the end of the 20th century, most clinical work with patients was from a depth psychology perspective (not including behaviorism, which was mostly used in academic research). Depth psychology (as distinct from cognitive-behavioral approaches) assumes that the human psyche has both a conscious dimension (our thoughts, feelings and actions which we are immediately aware of) and another dimension which we are not fully aware of, but which  nevertheless drives much of our default ways of relating to self and others, the particular emotions allowed into awareness, and our own particular ways of coping with stress. This other dimension of the psyche is often called the unconscious. It is the part of us which we cannot always see, but is nevertheless always active. 

Different depth approaches attempt to access this part of us in different ways in order to gain deeper insight into the self. Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes our early attachment figures in shaping our current modes of interpersonal relating. Existential therapy examines how we interact in the here and now in session with the belief that "the past is always alive in the present". Jungian therapy looks to symbols, dreams, and the archetypal narratives which we believe about ourselves as clues to deeper understanding. 

Another important aspect of depth psychology is the belief that we humans are more than our behavior. Psychological problems can, of course, be in part due to a much-needed "behavior change". But symptoms like depression & anxiety are often clues that something in life is missing or neglected. We humans need spiritual fulfillment, emotionally-satisfying relationships, meaningful endeavors, responsible action, and playfulness. For a depth therapist, symptoms are alarm-bells that it is time to address these needs with courageous intention. In addition to the psychology literature, depth therapists are fond of using philosophy, world religions/spiritual traditions, art, poetry, music and popular culture as clinical tools to access deeper parts of ourselves. 


As the 20th century came to a close, the advent of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with pressures from managed care plans to provide brief, symptom/focused-symptom/reduction treatments to psychotherapy led to a move away from depth therapy. In an effort to be empirically-validated, much of the field shied away from working with deep unconscious material since it is often a more open-ended treatment approach which needs space to breathe in order to be effective. Lately, the objective research has validated what depth therapists have long had a hunch about. For example, psychodynamic therapy, has now been shown to be just as efficacious as CBT.  In the U.S., the east and west coasts have long-appreciated depth psychology (psychoanalysis on the east coast, Jungian and existential therapy on the west coast) but there remains a lack in the upper Midwest. Northeast Psychotherapy is proud to offer this profoundly healing therapy approach to the communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Click here for a more academic description on Depth Psychology


A holistic health center in NE Minneapolis. NE Wellness offers acupuncture, massage, integrative health & wellbeing coaching, chiropractic services, and much more. 

Historic meditation center in NE Minneapolis in the Himalayan tradition. 

SPP has a  "sister clinic" relationship with Northeast Psychotherapy, providing a similar yet distinct depth therapy approach. 

Wonderful mindfulness community (online & in-person) led by the late Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Plum Village has many resources to assist with the practice of mindful living. 

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