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Explaining theories; Psychoanalytic, Adlerian.

Explaining theories; Psychoanalytic, Adlerian.

Psychoanalytic Theory
Adlerian Theory
Behavioural Theory
Cognitive-Behavioural Theory
Control Theory/Reality Therapy
Existential Theory
Person-Centered Theory
Gestalt Theory
Feminist Theory
Family Systems Theory
Multicultural Theory

Freud’s suggestions about dealing with the struggling thoughts still influence our contemplating individual habits.

Sigmund Freud was created in 1856, along with his contributions are increasingly being discussed, talked about, and recognized from Vienna to The Big Apple at meetings and then in books including reports publications to scholarly periodicals. Freud’s writings about psychoanalysis helped define the field of psychology in the 20th century and are objects of study in such diverse fields as literature, intellectual history, and the history of science. Repression, denial, dream analysis — these are all familiar concepts, thanks to Freud and his contributions to our views on human nature.

An upswing of pharmacological therapy for mental problems and psychiatric circumstances has brought some to proclaim the final of psychoanalysis — or to dismiss it having an insufficient basis in scientific details. But it would be a mistake to count this form of talk therapy out. Research suggests that the psychoanalytic approach still plays an important therapeutic role. And Freud’s theory of mind remains a fundamental part of many talk therapies, including psychoanalysis.

Nobel prize–winning psychiatrist and neuroscientist Eric Kandel, first, expectations to find out a “rapprochement involving the biological sciences and psychiatry.” In Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind (2005), he contends that we’re just beginning to discover the biological underpinnings of psychoanalytic theory. In particular, he aims to reinvigorate research into memory, desire, and other aspects of how the mind works.

So for Freud’s sesquicentennial, here is a report on psychoanalysis — what it is, how it’s done, and what to expect.

Psychoanalysis is a method of treating emotional difficulties that involves communication between a psychoanalyst and an individual, with the goal of gaining insight into the individual’s inner world and how it affects his or her emotions, behavior, and relationships. Psychoanalysis is also a system of ideas about the human mind and personality. Although both the method and the theory have advanced since Freud’s day, some of his basic ideas continue to shape our thinking about human behavior and functioning.

One fundamental Freudian concept is the powerful effect of the unconscious part of the mind on our feelings, actions, relationships, and endeavors. Unconscious conflicts can cause anxiety, moodiness, or depressive thoughts; troubling personality traits; or difficulties at work or in finding or maintaining long-term relationships. Many such problems have their roots in past experiences and relationships.

Psychoanalysis seeks to bring troubling unconscious forces into conscious awareness. With the insights gained during analysis, the patient can work at improving relationships and productivity, interrupt self-defeating or self-destructive patterns, and perhaps even unlock creative potential.

Who is Sigmund Freud?

Sigmund Freud grew up in Vienna, where he attended medical school and spent most of his professional career. First drawn to neurology, his interest soon shifted to psychology and therapy.

To appreciate his influence, think of all the New Yorker cartoons where the patient lies on the couch and the therapist — with neatly trimmed beard and cigar — sits listening with a scowl. The beard and cigar (and scowl) are Freud’s. He also invented couch therapy and, in 1896, the term “psychoanalysis.”

The psychoanalyst and patient meet three to five occasions per week. This intensive schedule of one-on-one sessions helps establish the psychoanalyst’s office as a place where the patient can safely free-associate — that is, talk about whatever comes to mind, whenever it comes to mind — and develop a deep bond with the analyst. The frequent meetings also encourage the emergence of the patient’s full range of personality traits and behavior patterns, an important step on the path to self-understanding. Use of the couch, a holdover from Freud’s day, is no longer required. Some people find that lying down facilitates free association and helps them focus their thoughts inward. Others find it more helpful to sit face to face with the analyst.

Psychoanalysis is a collaborative effort. As the patient free-associates, the analyst listens carefully and helps her grasp the underlying unconscious sources of her difficulties. To encourage this awareness, the analyst not only interprets ongoing patterns (interpretations the patient is welcome to amend, reject, or supplement), but also encourages the patient to re-experience them in the safety of the analytic setting. In psychoanalytic parlance, this is known as “transference.” The patient relives her life’s story by transferring to the analyst feelings and attitudes she originally experienced in her relationships with other people.

Psychoanalysis is actually a collaborative hard work. By examining the feelings the analyst arouses as she talks about her reasons for being late — or perhaps realizing her anger with authority figures — she can begin to become conscious of her motives for wanting to make others wait for her or become angry at her.

Psychoanalysis can be a long method, usually demanding many years — 5.7 several years, normally, in accordance with one study — to resolve very long-standing up difficulties, such as personal-beating behavior patterns or difficulties creating personal interactions. One reason it can take so many sessions is that, like old habits, maladaptive life patterns “die hard.” There may be many variations to work through. The hope is that over time, the individual can recover lost emotional connections, give up unhealthy ones, and adapt more effectively to her current circumstances.

Psychoanalysis could help with such complaints as “I have trouble choosing a perfect spouse,” “I never sense excited about my friendships,” or “I maintain lacking deadlines at the office and sabotaging my profession.” Less intensive psychotherapy may be more appropriate for short-term concerns such as “I’m very sad that my child is leaving for college,” unless these feelings are related to longer-standing behavior patterns. Distressing symptoms such as phobias, anxieties, and depression also respond to psychoanalysis, sometimes with the help of a medication.

Medical health insurance may include component — though because of the current emphasis on short-phrase therapy, usually not every — of the fee for psychoanalysis. Treatment is often available for a reduced fee at a psychoanalytic training institute (see “How to find a psychoanalyst”). Also, the analyst and patient may work out a lower fee or method of delayed payments.

Where to find a psychoanalyst

The American Psychoanalytic Relationship has a long list of members online at If you live near a major city in the United States or Canada, you may be able to find a local psychoanalytic training institute that offers consultations and referrals. Many such services are free or available at reduced fees. Depending on your needs, you may be referred to a graduate analyst, an analyst in training, or a qualified psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Most psychoanalytic institutes and societies offer treatment at reduced or adjustable fees.

Psychoanalytic training organizations apart from the American Psychoanalytic Association are located mainly in New York, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. In New York, for example, you can contact the William Alanson White Institute (, the New York Freudian Society (, or the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (

Additionally, there are psychoanalytic institutes and facilities in lots of significant cities around the globe. Experts are indexed in the directory site in the Overseas Psychoanalytic Organization ( In the majority of locations you are able to organize a evaluation to evaluate whether psychoanalysis will be right for you.

There are many types of psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy, and many approaches used in psychotherapy today grew out of classical psychoanalysis. These variant forms are usually less intensive versions of psychoanalysis. Expressive and psychodynamic psychotherapy, for example, emphasize the importance of finding unconscious motivations and gaining insight into one’s actions and feelings. By contrast, short-term structured therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which is outside the psychoanalytic tradition, focus on resolving current symptoms and behavioral problems without necessarily developing insight into their origins.

Psychoanalysis will not be for everybody, but a majority of ladies with psychological troubles can benefit from psychodynamic psychotherapy — that is, meeting by using a therapist once weekly to talk about unpleasant feelings that could underlie a certain difficulty or routine of thinking or habits. Like psychoanalysis, it assumes that the unconscious is involved and that past experiences and relationships can affect the present. Psychodynamic psychotherapy can last anywhere from a few months to several years.

Both psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy can be coupled with medicine, couples’ treatment, team therapies, or household treatment.