For every addiction, anxiety or other mental disorder, there are a number of treatments that can be effective, and psychoanalysis is among them. Of all the therapies explored in popular culture, psychoanalysis receives perhaps the most attention. It may be recognizable to any who consume popular media, but are the generalizations accurate? Can psychoanalysis help you?
The History Behind Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is both a perspective on the nature of the mind and thoughts as well as a form of treatment for psychological disorders that may result from those unconscious emotions.
Freud introduced the concept that the unconscious mind influences conscious behaviors and thoughts. By delving into those unconscious beliefs, a therapist and client together could discover and begin to heal the effects of unrealized trauma and distress.
The most famous example of Freud’s psychoanalysis involves sexual desire: the words “Tell me about your mother” are often quoted in relation to Freud, but psychoanalysis is not solely focused on sexuality. Instead, it attempts to engage the whole of human experience.
When you seek therapy, you will be peeling back layers of unconscious belief and thought. This journey into your unconscious mind may dredge up forgotten or unknown pain, but facing that pain is an important step toward a healthier life.
What Does Psychoanalysis Look Like?
As with any therapy, psychoanalysis requires time and commitment. The frequency of sessions may vary depending on your specific needs, though more frequent interactions may create a more intense treatment experience.
Along with Freud, the couch resides in the popular consciousness as a focal point. You may have watched movies or television shows depicting people reclining on couches, pouring their hearts out to a therapist. Freud believed that a patient would speak more freely if at rest than face to face with their therapist.
During the session, your therapist may ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation. They will listen to your stories, possibly asking about dreams or fantasies, and they may wish to discuss your relationships with other people. Through these conversations, they may be able to recognize unconscious patterns and offer suggestions on methods for confronting those unconscious thoughts.
One possibility for the discovery of these unconscious beliefs and feelings involves transference. Transference occurs when you project feelings onto the therapist that you unconsciously feel toward someone else in your life. This may be anger, frustration or even affection.
Though you may feel awkward about having such feelings, they are a natural part of therapy and should be discussed with your therapist. Talking about transference is an important step to understanding the unconscious feelings you are experiencing.
Can Psychoanalysis Help You?
The difficulty with unconscious thoughts and feelings is that they are just that: unconscious. You may not realize the underlying feelings that drive you toward addiction, anger, anxiety or depression.
Psychoanalysis may help you discover those unconscious feelings. By speaking with your therapist and engaging those emotions, you may be able to learn to cope with and overcome the unconscious beliefs and feelings that affect your life. If you’re curious to know more about psychoanalysis, contact a professional counselor or treatment center and ask.
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