Origins & Practice
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy originates from psychoanalysis and is guided by the same theories. It is a therapeutic process based on the understanding of inner causes of disorder. It is different from most other therapies in that it aims for deep seated change in personality and in emotional development.
Unconscious patterns in understanding our self and the world , inform our thinking, feeling and relating to others. It is not until we can re visit and decode those patterns that we can intervene and assist ourselves in reaching better, non-pathological ways of being and relating.
Whether discomfort is experienced in the form of stress, depression, anger, phobias or chronic lack of pleasure, the individual is helped to work through conflicts and traumas that can otherwise be unbearable.
Physical pain, symptoms or dysfunctions such as eating and sleeping disorders, bowel syndromes, sexual difficulties or recurrent accidents are some of the ways individuals experience the parts of the self that are neglected, repressed, traumatised or in conflict. In that respect physical pain and dysfunction provide one with the unique opportunity of working with the self and facilitating change into health and happiness.
“The relationship with the therapist is a crucial element in the therapy. The therapist offers a confidential and private setting which facilitates a process where unconscious patterns of the patient’s inner world become reflected in the patient’s relationship with the therapist (transference). This process helps patients gradually to identify these patterns and, in becoming conscious of them, to develop the capacity to understand and change them.”
British Psychoanalytic Council website: BPC