Psychotherapy is a type of treatment that utilizes verbal and psychological techniques to help individuals experiencing a wide range of emotional problems and diverse mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, etc. Psychotherapy takes place through conversation and interaction with a professional who is trained to help you.
Psychoanalysis is defined as a set of psychological theories about the mind, personality, psychological disorders, and therapeutic methods originally developed by Sigmund freud at the beginning of the 20th century.
When invited to speak whatever came to mind, his patients gave Freud clues that led to repressed childhood experiences, desires, and fantasies that had resulted in unconscious conflicts. The symptoms they suffered from embodied a meaning that was simultaneously hidden and revealed.
From his work he realized that most disturbances had their roots outside of consciousness. This discovery of the “unconscious” began to become very important in the way he thought about people and how he formulated his theories. He developed a treatment based on the discovery of the “unconscious” sources of these neuroses and the “mechanisms” used to protect oneself against emotional pain.
Freud, by noting the close relationship between feelings, behavior and how the mind worked; he found that these ‘neuroses’ (or symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, restlessness, obsessive behavior and so on) could be alleviated by listening to someone in an ‘analytical’ way. This procedure led him to develop his “talking cure”, which became not only a powerful method of treatment, but also an efficient tool for studying the human psyche.
Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic psychotherapy is one of the psychotherapeutic approaches based on the theory and technique of psychoanalysis, which aims to treat emotional problems and various mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, etc. According to psychoanalytic theory; memories, early childhood experiences, emotional conflicts and repressed impulses are present in our psyche. Being active in the unconscious, they exert great power over us by influencing our personality, self-esteem, interactions with others and emotional state. Therefore, the treatment is based on the theory that our present is shaped by our past.
This type of psychotherapy addresses underlying issues and causes, often related to your past, that may be troubling you or affecting your relationships with others. In your sessions you will be encouraged to speak freely and look deeper into your problems and concerns.
Typically therapists use exploration of unconscious thoughts and feelings, understanding aspects of the relationship between therapist and patient that may be related to underlying emotional conflicts, interpreting defense processes that inhibit emotional awareness, and examining issues related to the sense of self and self-esteem.
Techniques utilized in psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy are:
- Transference Analysis. The patient transfers unconscious feelings that may have been directed to an important person in the past, such as parents, to the psychotherapist. Through this transference, the individual in therapy begins to relate to the therapist in the same way he or she relates to people in the past, and relives the repressed emotions associated with previous relationships. The psychotherapist interprets the meaning of these responses to help the individual become more aware of how their past relationships may affect their functioning in the present.
- Dream Interpretation. A technique for interpreting and making conscious the repressed unconscious thoughts, impulses, and conflicts expressed in dreams by symbols and images.
- The verbal communication of observations into a cohesive narrative in order to promote awareness of feelings, fantasies, thoughts, impulses, and inhibitions that was unconscious.
- Free Association. A technique used to encourage the patient to talk openly about whatever is on their mind. The uncensored expression of words, thoughts, or feelings facilitates in uncovering unconscious processes.
- Resistance Analysis. Resistance refers to unconscious attempts by individuals to prevent anxiety-provoking material to become conscious. By recognizing and identifying resistance that obstructs psychotherapeutic process, the therapist assists the patient to access and work through his/her unconscious conflicts.
Anxiety disorders (Phobias, Panic disorder etc.)
Mood disorders (Depression etc.)
Eating Disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia)
Identity issues and disorders
Addictions (Alcohol, drug etc.)
Gender and sexuality issues
Coping with physical illness
Difficulty coping with feelings or thoughts
Problems relating to others
The preparation and training to become a psychotherapist is long and intensive. The training is mainly based on psychoanalytic theories. Applicants for training are usually graduate members of one of the major professions such as psychology, medicine or social work, and have relevant experience in the field of mental health.
Psychotherapy takes place in a safe and confidential space. It is common for it to start with a consultation where you will discuss whether and how your treatment will continue. You can arrange to see your therapist once a week face-to-face or online. Or you can arrange to hold sessions more often, up to five times a week. Psychotherapists will encourage you to speak freely and help you notice patterns and hidden meanings in what you say or how you interact with other people.
A typical session will last 50 minutes, although couple, group or family psychotherapy may take longer. It is impossible to say how long the treatment will last through psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy. Because it is a therapeutic process and the time it takes depends on individual circumstances, it can vary from many months to several years.
It provides relief or disappearance of painful emotional symptoms.
You may feel understood as a unique individual.
Your personal relationships improve.
You can be more productive at work.
You can enjoy life more.
You can change ways of coping that don’t work.
You can understand feelings and behaviors that don’t make sense.
You can have more control over your life.
You can stop self-destructive behavior patterns.
You can understand yourself.
You can prevent the past from mixing with the present.
You can discuss issues in a safe and private environment.
Unlock your creative potential.