What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy? How does it work?
Psychoanalytic therapy or counselling can contribute positively to our general sense of wellbeing and to our ability to manage our lives more effectively. It offers a process which helps us to understand and address our problems by increasing awareness of the way our inner world influences our day-to-day behaviour.
We sometimes try to deal with problems by keeping awareness of the problems out of our minds. This may give some short term relief, but in the long term they will continue to have an important effect on our feelings and behaviour, and may lead to some destructive patterns in our personal relationships, in our working lives, and in our relationships with others generally.
The Psychoanalytic approach is based on the belief that early experiences shape the way the mind works, but a large part of it operates outside of our consciousness. With the help of the therapist, who listens and observes in a particular way, you can gradually come to understand some of your early experiences, which might include difficulties with parents or other family members, and make sense of how you have dealt with them.
The relationship with the therapist / counsellor is important in this way of working. Within the safety, privacy and confidentiality of the relationship with your therapist it becomes possible to identify those patterns of behaviour, which we keep repeating, and which, can cause difficulties in our lives, and can give us a sense of not fulfilling our true potential. As we become aware of old, unhelpful patterns, and address the feelings they stir up, it becomes more possible make lasting changes in our lives.