Methods of Treatment

Psychoanalysis is a mode of knowledge and at the same time a therapeutic approach to mental and emotional suffering. It was discovered by the Viennese neurologist Sigmund Freud over a century ago. Freud invented the so-called ‘talking cure’ based on the concept that there do coexist in our mind both conscious and unconscious wishes, thoughts, fantasies and desires which are seemingly incompatible and in stark conflict with one another. This conflict may lead to severe difficulties in understanding our own motivations and actions. Psychoanalysis states that feelings and actions are affected by unconscious drives as much as those we are consciously aware of. We often find ourselves suffering in ways which we do not completely understand and acting in ways contradicting to our personal belief, knowledge, ideas and ideals.

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy in general represent a means of in-depth exploration and discovery which link our experience of suffering in the present by speaking in detail about the particular life history with others from early infancy. Although psychotherapy cannot guarantee ‘positive outcomes’, it may often lead to a re-orientation in regards to our desires and understanding, and a transformation in our relation with others and the world as a whole. Although not directly concerned with the removal of ‘symptoms’ psychoanalysis has the effect of reducing the suffering associated with them, the relief of emotional distress and rediscovery of meaning in our lives.

The psychoanalytic therapist does not provide instant answers but instead encourages the consideration of unconscious dynamics repeated in actions and behavior patterns, and navigates in exploring the deeper significance of symptoms and mental disorders. Although psychoanalytic therapy demands a commitment and investment of time, effort and money, the benefits can be profound and can put a person on a more solid path for the rest of their life.

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy perceive human beings to be complex and contradictory because of the centrality of the unconscious in our lives, and the task of the treatment is to find a way through these complex and contradictory aspects and lay bare something potentially creative through our exploration of them.

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