Very often, people want to have the opportunity to immerse themselves as deeply as possible in understanding themselves, the suffering they encounter, or the difficulties they face with their families, their friends, and the ones they love. Some people are simply looking to feel more real, more alive. Like psychoanalytic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis is a treatment method used to understand and improve one’s relationships with loved ones, and to author an authentic, meaningful existence for oneself. It is a more intensive form of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, however: It is conducted by a trained psychoanalyst, it involves multiple meetings a week, and it sometimes involves the use of an analytic couch. The training of the psychoanalyst, the frequency of meeting and often the couch all strengthen and improve the ability for the two people within the analytic relationship to focus on the individual’s internal experience– as deeply as possible.
There are several goals of psychoanalysis, and many of them are ultimately determined by you. Generally, psychoanalysis profoundly helps people understand their emotional lives. Aspects of an individual’s experience are often not immediately available to their own awareness, but can nonetheless play a powerful role. Unconscious factors, for instance, often exert a great deal of influence upon the people one’s seek out in relationships, the way one see’s oneself, and the choices one make’s in their professional and personal lives. Understanding these factors offers the benefit of insight into one’s own behavior, but more importantly, it provides the ability to be open to aspects of oneself that might previously have been foreclosed. Many people who undertake psychoanalysis consider it a very powerful and curative experience, and among the most important things they’ve done for themselves.
Critical to your work in psychoanalysis is the relationship you have with your doctor. It is imperative that one feel deeply understood, and the close work done together in psychoanalysis provides such an opportunity, within a safe, warm, empathic environment. However, it also means that if you have complicated feelings toward your doctor (for instance, you have an occasion when you feel hurt or angered), that you can raise these feelings and work them through together. It is often these very instances that can help a person feel most deeply understood.
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