What is Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a unique, intensive form of psychotherapy that fosters personal development and liberation from unsatisfying or painful patterns of living. In pursuit of those goals, the individual in analysis and the analyst work together in close collaboration. They pay careful attention to the interactions of personal and interpersonal experience, of past and present, of body and mind, of fantasy and reality. Such an in-depth exploration can set in motion a process of personal transformation, a freshness of lived experience, a vitalized creativity, a rediscovered meaningfulness in relationship to people or life activities.
The process of psychoanalysis depends on the establishment of a safe, confidential relationship with one’s analyst. The frequency of sessions – typically three to five times a week – allows the patient’s dilemmas to come to life in the intricacies of the psychoanalytic relationship, offering a rich field of exploration. As the analyst maintains a devoted attentiveness, patient, and analyst work together to grasp the meaning of the patient’s experience through emotional reactions, thoughts, memories, fantasies, dreams, images, and sensations.
The decision to enter into psychoanalysis entails a mutual agreement between patient and analyst. Decisions about the frequency of sessions needed to sustain the process are reached jointly. Fees for psychoanalysis vary, and are a matter to be negotiated between patient and analyst. The analytic process can be expected to unfold over a considerable period of time.
For further information on whether psychoanalysis might be the right fit for you, please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
To learn more about Comparative Psychoanalysis, please read The Spirit, Method and Goals of Comparative Psychoanalysis at MIP.