Psychoanalysis is an in depth form of psychotherapy often recommended for people who struggle even when their external reality seems to go well or who cannot achieve their full potential in work or relationships even while doing well in other areas of life. Issues that can be helped with psychoanalysis include:
- Difficulties with intimacy and/or romantic relationships.
- Difficulties experiencing pleasure whether sexual or otherwise.
- Chronic self-doubt, low self-esteem or a sense of inadequacy or ineffectiveness at school or work.
- Chronic difficulties with mood or anxiety.
- Feeling uncomfortable in one’s own skin or a sense of alienation in the world.
Psychoanalysis is different from most therapies in that patients come in three or four times a week and sometimes even lie down on the couch. The goal of such a high frequency is to allow people to achieve freedom from censoring their minds or following the usual rules of polite engagement so as to become aware of their deepest thoughts and feelings. In psychoanalysis we can learn to observe our stream of thoughts and bodily sensations, our behavior, our dreams as well as our feelings about other people including, eventually, the analyst. Patterns will emerge from such an observation that can be traced back to past experiences and relationships. These patterns of thought, feeling and behavior may have worked in the past but may be holding us back from achieving self-fulfillment and connection with others. When a person meets with their analyst three to four times a week over an extended period of time, these outdated patterns play out in the treatment room with the analyst allowing us to discuss it in ‘real-time’, which creates a kind of experiential learning that is very powerful. It allows people to experience increased self-awareness, control, mental freedom and choice in their lives and a friendlier relationship with themselves and others.