This therapy, usually a medium to long term therapy, believes that psychological problems are rooted in the unconscious mind.
Psychoanalytic therapy explores how the unconscious mind influences thoughts and behaviours, with the aim of offering insight and resolution to the person seeking therapy to make deep-seated changes in personality and emotional development.
Psychoanalytic therapy, based on the work of Sigmund Freud, tends to look at experiences from early childhood to see if these events have affected the individual’s life, or potentially contributed to current concerns. This form of therapy is considered a long-term choice and can continue for months or even years depending on the depth of the concern being explored however the results can be life changing. Regular sessions of psychoanalysis provide a setting where unconscious patterns can be brought into awareness with a view to changing them. The client’s relationship with the analyst is an important influence upon the client’s unconscious ways of behaving and, in itself, becomes a central area of focus, highlighting the client’s patterns within the relationship in the immediacy of the sessions. The therapist will use free association, fantasy, and dreams within the therapy and interpretations to create insight for the client. Psychoanalytic work is better suited to more general concerns such as anxiety, relationship difficulties, sexual issues or low self-esteem. Phobias, social shyness and difficulties sleeping are further examples of areas that could be addressed within psychoanalytic therapy. It may not be as useful to those with more specific or obsession-based concerns such as obsessive compulsive behaviour, as you may be too concerned by your actions to participate fully.