Psychoanalysis, usually conducted at a frequency of several sessions a week, is appropriate for people who want to make profound changes in their lives.
Some potential therapy clients, when they hear the word, "psychoanalysis," may be a bit taken aback given some of the popular beliefs of what this type of therapy is. They may envision a silent therapist sitting aloof and judgmentally behind the patient who reclines on a couch endlessly talking about his or her childhood.This stereotype has little to do with contemporary psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis, usually conducted at a frequency of several sessions a week, is appropriate for people who want to make profound changes in their lives. A goal of changing longstanding self-defeating personality traits or overcoming difficulties in relationships and work that repeat over and over often requires a more intensive approach.
Psychoanalysis views the source of intractable problems as unconscious. For this reason, quick-fire solutions from self-help books or well-intentioned suggestions from family and friends offer temporary comfort at best. At worst, they can make you feel like a failure for not being able to right things yourself.
In psychoanalytic treatment, we look at the unconscious beliefs, motivations, and experiences that may be affecting your current life. It is not an exercise in intellectual understanding of your "issues." Neither is it an opportunity to just blame your parents.
Together we examine your memories, current experiences, dreams, fantasies, repetitive behavioral patterns, and how we (therapist and client) relate to one another to understand what are the unconscious sources of your difficulties. As you begin to emotionally connect with these realizations and begin to observe how they operate in daily life and relationships, you gain more freedom to choose how to be.
Psychoanalytically based treatments are also referred to as "Psychodynamic Psychotherapy." To read about the benefits and learn more about this form of therapy read, The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy by Jonathan Shedler, PhD.