NRNP 6645 Week 4 Exploring Psychodynamic Theories

NRNP 6645 Week 4 Exploring Psychodynamic Theories

Contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapy, also referred to as psychoanalytic therapy, is rooted in Dr. Sigmund Freud’s proposal that unconscious thought processes, or thoughts and feelings outside of our conscious awareness, are responsible for mental health issues. This therapeutic approach is unique because its goal is to help patients achieve changes in personality and emotional development.

Like most therapeutic approaches, however, psychodynamic psychotherapy is not appropriate for every patient. In your role as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, you must be able to properly assess patients to determine whether this therapeutic approach would improve their clinical outcomes.

This week, you explore psychodynamic psychotherapy and examine the application of current literature to clinical practice.


Learning Resources – NRNP 6645 Week 4 Exploring Psychodynamic Theories

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.)

  • For reference as needed

Nichols, M., & Davis, S. D. (2020). The essentials of family therapy (7th ed.). Pearson.

  • Chapter 8, “Psychoanalytic Family Therapy”

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.

  • Chapter 5, “Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy”
    • Review the sections on psychodynamic therapy only.
  • Chapter 21, “Psychotherapeutic Approaches with Children and Adolescents”
    • pp. 790–791 only
Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

Alexander Street. (2014, February 24). Jungian play therapy and sandplay with children: Myth, mandala, and meaning [Video]. YouTube.

Grande, T. (2016, January 29). Adlerian therapy role-play – “Acting as if” technique [Video]. YouTube.

Grande, T. (2016, February 23). Psychodynamic therapy role-play – Defense mechanisms and free association [Video]. YouTube.

PsychotherapyNet. (2018, December 7). Youtube Kernberg psychoanalytic psychotherapy [Video]. YouTube.

Optional Resources

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2013). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice [Video].

  • Psychodynamic Therapy (starts at 3 minutes)

Exploring Psychodynamic Theories

When thinking of classic Freudian techniques, what images come to mind? Perhaps the omniscient Freud smoking a pipe, sitting behind a client, passively taking notes—or troubled clients lying sprawled on a couch, speaking about their sexuality or early experiences in dealing with aggression or angst.

Though many associate all psychodynamic theories with well-known images of Freudian psychoanalysis, the works of Jung, Adler, and other prominent psychodynamic theorists took strides to significantly depart from Freud’s theory of personality and therapy. Modern psychodynamic approaches place the therapist across from the patient, actively engaging the patient in the psychotherapeutic process.

During this process, however, therapists place much focus on the unconscious mind and past relationships of the patient—a focus unique to psychodynamic theories.

This week there is no assessment, but you will explore unique interventions and strategies derived from the psychodynamic theoretical approach through the Learning Resources.

NRNP 6645 Week 5 Discussion – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Comparing Group, Family, And Individual Settings

There are significant differences in the applications of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for families and individuals. The same is true for CBT in group settings and CBT in family settings. In your role, it is essential to understand these differences to appropriately apply this therapeutic approach across multiple settings. For this Discussion, as you compare the use of CBT in individual, group, and family settings, consider challenges of using this approach with groups you may lead, as well as strategies for overcoming those challenges.


Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources. 

To prepare:

  •   Review the videos in this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights provided on CBT in various settings. 

By Day 3

Post an explanation of how the use of CBT in groups compares to its use in family or individual settings. Explain at least two challenges PMHNPs might encounter when using CBT in one of these settings. Support your response with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly and attach the PDFs of your sources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by recommending strategies to overcome the challenges your colleagues have identified. Support your recommendation with evidence-based literature and/or your own experiences with clients.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the Reply button to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Post Reply, you cannot delete or edit your own posts and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Post Reply


  • Nichols, M., & Davis, S. D. (2020). The essentials of family therapy (7th ed.). Pearson.
  • Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.

Required Media

NRNP 6645 Week 4 Exploring Psychodynamic Theories Optional Resources

NRNP 6645 Week 4 Exploring Psychodynamic Theories Example 1 – Amanda 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy in which the therapist utilizes techniques to help to change the mindset and thinking pattern of the client or patient to reduce psychological symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, addictions and other types of mental illness.  The underlying principle is that psychological problems are at least in part due to thought processes which are maladaptive or otherwise unhealthy and that these thought patterns are learned behaviors which can subsequently be unlearned through therapy.  

Once these faulty thought processes are unlearned, they can be replaced with new skills, thought processes and more effective coping mechanisms to use instead (Society of Clinical Psychology, 2017).  Some challenges that present in this type of therapy are the ability to change someone’s mindset from a negative one to a positive one.  When attempting to use the techniques in a group setting the level of difficulty is increased dramatically.  Even when you have a group of people who share a common diagnosis, such as anxiety, there are still many unique contributing factors to each person’s specific symptoms and manifestations of those symptoms. 

Most group CBT success has been seen in the treatment of depression and anxiety as group participants can practice empathy towards others and provide their own personal experiences with symptoms which others in the group can relate (Thimm, 2014).  Some difficulty does lie in the fact that there are differing cultural, religious and socioeconomic views and beliefs that further impact each person’s cognition, outlook and overall emotional functioning and will impact the therapeutic processes.  Understanding how these things can impact the therapeutic processes for each person will help improve the outcome of therapy, but in a group setting it will be harder to modify therapy in a way to fit every participant in the group.  

Nothing in psychotherapy is a one size fits all that works equally for every patient and attempting to gain the same results with multiple people with one standard technique is not a realistic expectation.  Each person in a group therapy session will also have different perspectives and interpretation of their thoughts, emotions and the ramifications of those things on their current symptoms.  Group therapy participants may also drop out of their sessions if they feel they are not effective and the change in group dynamics when someone stops coming to group can negatively impact the remaining participants (Thimm & Liss, 2014). 

There are some benefits to group CBT sessions such as the ability to role play these newly learned CBT techniques and being able to practice things such as empathy (Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 2018).  Due to these challenges, it may be more effective to utilize individual CBT sessions over group CBT settings to reduce potential setbacks in the therapeutic processes and have the most positive impact on the thought of the patient (Guo, et al, 2021). 


Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. (2018, June 7). CBT for couples. [Video]. YouTube. to an external site.

Guo, T., Su, J., Hu, J., Aalberg, M., Zhu, Y., Teng, T., and Zhou, X. (2021). Individual      vs. Group Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety Disorder in Children and    Adolescents: A meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Retrieved from:

Society of Clinical Psychology. (2017). What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?         Retrieved from:          families/cognitive-behavioral.

Thimm J & Liss A. (2014). Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for depression in routine practice. BMC Psychiatry. 14(292). Retrieved from:

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