As stated by Hanna Levenson, “The goal of TLDP is not the reduction of symptoms as such, (for instance, anxiety, depression), although improvements in symptoms are expected to occur; rather, the focus is on changing ingrained patterns of interpersonal relatedness or personality style.”
The goal in this therapeutic approach is very valuable, and may be applied to a diverse group of clients. Rather than attacking the symptoms, modifications are made in the person which ultimately may resolve these symptoms over time. This method may be affective in individuals suffering from trauma and showing symptoms such as anxiety, stress, and aggression. However, This method seems non-specific and could be used for numerous clients. Although symptoms can be directly approached through medical means, changing ingrained patterns of the individuals lifestyle can congruently improve the individual and symptoms they are suffering from. Helping the client change there pattern of thinking towards the trauma they have faced can directly impact the symptoms the suffer from. This method of therapy can almost be viewed as “killing two birds with one stone”, improving patterns of interpersonal relatedness while resolving struggling symptoms.
I approached this question from two different paths of thought. My first process concerned what I felt was the relative value of Time-limited dynamic psychotherapy (TLDP), and when I thought it would be a best practice. As with psychotherapy, I struggle a little with the concept of a treatment that does not specifically address symptoms. The being said, the corollary of this quality may be that TLDP is well geared for addressing more broad and general social support requirements. TLDP focuses on social relationships and interactions. So it immediately leapt to mind that it could be of particular benefit for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder. Here it could provide a positive vehicle for modeling and practicing appropriate social interaction and responses. Any client suffering from troubles in a romantic relationship might benefit from it as well, in tandem to whatever treatment might be appropriate for other challenges. I also think TLDP may be more effective with younger clients. The older a person is, the more “set in their ways” they are likely to be and, by extension, resistant to this treatment. But a child or adolescent is still in the process of developing social and peer interaction skills. This may provide an opportunity to address a maladaptive habit before it fully develops.
My second path of thought was about specific diagnosis, and how I thought TLDP might interact with various symptoms and criterion. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) stuck in my head for a while, because TLDP is specifically concerned with maintaining social relationships, a specific difficulty for individuals with BPD. I think the brevity of TLDP would not lend itself as an isolated path of treatment in this scenario, but could be an excellent component in a larger overall treatment. TLDP could be highly beneficial for individuals with bipolar disorder. Helping a client manage peer interactions may be beneficial in controlling the magnitude and consequences of mood swings. I also think clients presenting with an eating disorder could potentially benefit from TLDP. While not specifically addressing any symptoms regarding food, I think eating disorders are frequently accompanied by deep underlying questions about control, anxiety, and self image. I think presenting positive routes of social interaction could relieve some of these internal tensions, and could lend themselves toward a secondary effect of alleviating some symptoms. I would also be interested to see if there is any research on how beneficial TLDP is for individuals with oppositional defiance disorder. I do not think this would be a treatment route I would specifically choose for such a client, but I think there could be potential benefits.