- Evelyn Aizenberg Psy.D, LMFT
What is Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is an in-depth mode of therapy for people who suffer from psychological distress, regulating emotions, and having difficulties with productivity and creativity. Often someone in need of psychoanalysis will experience difficulties with creating and maintaining satisfactory close relationships with family, friends, or partners. People who seek psychoanalysis have an interest in knowing themselves better and in a deeper way, in order to alleviate the painful conflicts that underlie these difficulties.
Psychoanalysis is an intensive form of psychotherapy, involving three or more sessions per week over a period that usually lasts years. Psychoanalysts have more extensive training compared to other psychotherapists. They are generally experienced therapists who have undergone further education in order to give depth and meaning to their work.
Typically, psychoanalytic patients lie down on the couch and examine, with the help of the analyst, the different aspects of their lives, including experiences, feelings, thoughts, fantasies, memories, and dreams from their past and from their present. Some people prefer a face-to-face dialogue with their analyst, rather than lying on the couch. In either case, it is essential to develop a safe and collaborative relationship between the patient and analyst, in order to be able to facilitate the unfolding of the patient's experiences and feelings. Together, analyst and patient work together to examine old, dysfunctional patterns in the patient's life, and uncover the patient's potential for a fuller, more satisfying life.
What Are the benefits of Psychoanalysis?
If you would like to:
- Improve personal relationships
- Increase satisfaction and pleasure in your life
- Get relief from painful emotional problems
- Overcome traumatic experiences
- Prevent your past from interfering with your future
- Stop self-destructive patterns of behavior and thinking
- Become more creative and free in all aspects of your life
- Enjoy your work more fully
- Feel more in control of your life direction and relationships
- Understand yourself and feel understood
...Then Psychoanalysis may be right for you.
What is the difference between Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic psychotherapy?
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy follows theoretical principles that are similar to psychoanalysis, but it usually requires fewer sessions per week and is usually less intensive. Rather using the couch, patients typically sit up facing the therapist. Length of treatment varies from a few weeks to several years, based on the client's needs and preferences.
Choosing between psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis depends upon how thoroughly the patient wants to examine himself and his life choices and challenges. Both treatment methods are effective for reducing emotional distress and alleviating symptoms. Deciding between the two requires an assessment of one's life goals, resources, interests, and willingness to commit to a life changing, transformative process.