Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is a highly effective psychological treatment that improves the lives of many people.
Psychoanalytic: Used to describe a system of understanding human behaviour, personality and personality development. It makes assumptions as to the central importance of unconscious process, intra-psychic conflict, defence mechanisms and specific personality development as described in psychoanalytic theory.
Psychotherapy: a formalised process in the form of a meeting between two or more people, one of whom is designated as the therapist, and one (individual psychotherapy) or more (group psychotherapy) are designated as clients or patients. The meeting must be about the help which one is getting from the other and be involved in facilitating in the patient or client the achievement of growth and an improved state of well-being in living. The therapist should have some expertise and knowledge in the field and be paying attention to the behaviour, feelings, attitudes and character structure of the client or patient. The therapeutic process stresses the importance of the awareness of the transference, countertransference, interpretation and working-through.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a specialised form of psychological treatment derived from psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud over 100 years ago as a theory of mind and a method of psychological treatment. Freud’s discovery of the unconscious and how it influences our emotional development and experience throughout our lives, transformed our understanding of ourselves as human beings and led to the birth of psychology as we know it.
Since Freud, psychoanalytic ideas have been applied ‘beyond the couch’ to the fields of art and literature, philosophy and politics, and have enhanced our understanding of ourselves as social and cultural beings and the world around us.
Psychoanalytic theory has advanced a great deal over the past 100 years, with the proliferation of many schools of thoughts, but it is still taught and practised as a specialised form of psychological treatment around the world.