Psychoanalytic therapy (or psychodynamic) enables the therapist to delve deeper into a patient’s life experiences to establish patterns of behaviour. This can help the therapist discover hidden meanings in what the patient is saying to recovery and management of presented issues.
Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy, are the most ambitious of all therapies in terms of scope and aims, and approaches from a different angle. Psychoanalysis started with the discoveries of Sigmund Freud a century ago, but its methods have changed and developed a great deal since then.
It's the most complex of the talking treatments, and has had a significant influence on most others (British Psychoanalytic Council, 2015).
Psychotherapy involves conversations with a listener who is trained to help you make sense of, and try to change, things that are troubling you. It is something you take an active working part in, rather than something you are just prescribed or given, such as medication.
what is psychoanalytic therapy?
Psychoanalysis is based on the principle that our childhood experiences have created our current behaviour patterns and thinking process. These thoughts and feelings can become repressed and may manifest themselves as depression or other negative symptoms.
By talking freely about thoughts entering their mind, the patient reveals unconscious thoughts and memories that the analyst will seek to interpret and make sense of. Deeply buried memories and experiences are often expressed during this time and the opportunity to share these thoughts and feelings can help patients to work through these problems.
These thoughts can be analysed through free associations (the patient says whatever comes to mind during the session, without censoring their thoughts), dreams and fantasies, which all allow the analyst to clarify the patient's unconscious thoughts (Counselling Directory, 2017).