What is psychoanalytical therapy?
Psychoanalytical therapy’s key figure is Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud was one of the few individuals who developed a comprehensive model of understanding under one theory. This theory has been able to encompass personality development, the complete philosophy of human nature, and even psychotherapy.
How does psychoanalytical therapy work?
Freud believed there are 3 key components of the personality:
- The id is the primal instinctual part of our personality
- The ego is the executive function that governs controls and regulates our personality
- The superego is our moral code
Psychoanalytic therapy focuses on the unconscious factors that ultimately motivate human behavior by bringing the unconscious to the conscious and strengthening the ego to help behavior become more based on reality than instinctual cravings. Commonly, childhood experiences are discussed, analyzed, interpreted, and also reconstructed by developing a better self understanding, which is necessary for change. Primary attention is given to the first 6 years of life, which tends to determine later developments, personality, and personality issues.
Therapy commonly is heavily focused on talk therapy and can include:
- Free association (word association)
- Dream interpretation
- Analysis of resistance (the tendency to inhibit the unconscious mind)
- Analysis of transference (transferring feelings from one person to another)
Generally speaking, psychoanalytical therapy is about understanding and uncovering your unconscious mind – your thoughts, feelings, patterns, etc. and how it affects your conscious mind – behaviours and actions. This type of therapy is intensive and requires patience as it can take years to attain desired outcomes.
When is psychoanalytical therapy used?
Psychoanalytical therapy can be used to treat:
- Personality disorders
- Self esteem issues
- Marriage and relationship concerns
- Mental health disorders
This type of therapy may be used to treat other conditions and concerns in addition to those listed above. It may also be used in conjunction with other treatment methods. Your therapist will work with you to determine the best treatment method for your individual circumstances.
You should be aware that there is no treatment method that is successful for every person. What works for you, may not work for someone else.
What to expect from therapy
Put simply, you will get out of therapy what you put into it. It’s not a magic solution that will solve all your problems. It may involve you doing some real work and being completely honest with yourself and your therapist. Sometimes facing our truth is the hardest thing of all – but from that discomfort can come healing and growth.
Insight’s therapists are available for in-person, online, or telephone counselling at several locations in Alberta. Contact us to learn more.