About Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is a unique form of intensive psychotherapy that fosters personal development and liberation from unsatisfying or painful patterns of living. In pursuit of those goals, the individual in a psychoanalytically informed therapy and the therapist work together in close collaboration. They pay careful attention to the interactions of personal and interpersonal experience, both past and present, of body and mind, and of hopes, fears and the realities of their lives. Such in-depth exploration can set in motion a process of personal transformation.

People seek psychoanalytically informed treatment for many reasons. Some want help with specific emotional problems like depression, anxiety, or stress or are seeking to come to terms with a painful or traumatic personal history.

Others may feel stuck in distressing patterns that prevent them from feeling satisfied, from connecting with others, or from finding meaning in their lives. Many people simply desire to develop a deeper self-understanding or greater creativity in their personal lives.

The process of psychoanalytic psychotherapy depends on the establishment of a safe, confidential, and collaborative therapeutic relationship. The frequency of sessions typically required ranges from one to three times per week. These sessions allow the patient’s problems to come to life in the psychoanalytic relationship.

Patient and therapist work together to understand the meanings of the patient’s emotional reactions, thoughts, memories, fantasies, dreams, images, and sensations in an effort to alleviate personal suffering and to expand the capacity for work, love, play and creativity. These newfound understandings then become the basis for helping patients form new ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

The psychoanalytic psychotherapy process permits therapist and patient to explore the rich and complex texture of human relationship. The length of treatment will vary from a few months to a considerable period of time. A decision to enter psychoanalytically informed treatment represents a mutual agreement between patient and therapist. Decisions about the frequency of sessions needed to sustain the process are reached jointly.

Psychoanalytic informed treatment draws on a vast body of knowledge—both within psychoanalysis and across disciplines—to understand their patients compassionately and to respond effectively to the broader communities in which they live and work. Recent research studies have pointed to psychoanalytic therapies as highly effective treatments for a variety of conditions.