What is psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is the optimal form of treatment for many individuals seeking relief from emotional suffering. Initially developed by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis has evolved over the last century to reflect the most current, comprehensive and scientific understanding of the human mind. As an intensive treatment process, psychoanalysis depends heavily on the establishment of a safe, confidential relationship with one’s analyst. Within such a collaboration patient and analyst can, through the examination of the patient’s anxieties, wishes, dreams, emotions and fantasies, explore and bring to light the patient’s conscious and unconscious motivations and conflicts that may be impediments to a more satisfying, productive and creative life.
Time is needed for such an important endeavor. Psychoanalysis, thus, typically involves four or more sessions a week and is conducted over several years. Many individuals find that the use of the analytic couch allows them to speak more freely about their personal concerns while others find that sitting in a chair face-to-face is the best way for the healing conversation to unfold. Either way, this sustained process allows for a deep form of emotional learning.
Entering psychoanalysis is a significant commitment and, as such, it can have a transformational effect on one’s life. In fact, recent research indicates that the effect of this intensive work produces the greatest likelihood of change over an individual’s lifetime. To read more about the efficacy of psychoanalytically informed treatment
Choosing the right psychoanalyst is important. Qualified psychoanalysts have had, generally, four to seven years of rigorous training that includes intensive coursework, a personal analysis, and experience in providing psychoanalyses under the supervision of training analysts. Qualified psychoanalysts are typically certified by training institutes under the auspices of accredited organizations such as the International Psychoanalytical Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association.