Psychoanalysis is a classical and modern method of long-term psychological treatment. It is complex and is more than psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis often eases psychological suffering after many other therapy methods have had limited success.
Psychoanalysis works mostly with the unconscious. The unconscious of every person is vast compared to the conscious mind. It is the pool of all feelings, thoughts, urges, conflicts, and memories that are outside of our conscious awareness. These active unconscious elements guide one’s life and decisions and control most of our choices. They can create nervous tension and negative feelings such as deep unhappiness, anxiety, depression, intense boredom, feeling of emptiness, and self-depreciation. These can transpire in many ways, including self-destructive behaviors, or difficulties with personal relationships or work. Such problems are usually difficult to resolve and show up again and again.
Oftentimes psychological troubles have been in one’s life for a long time — maybe since childhood. For these a treatment deeper than typical psychotherapy is needed. This is where psychoanalysis comes in. Through psychoanalysis people learn how they came to be who they are and why they do and feel the things they do. This understanding of oneself leads the way toward emotional freedom and personal growth. Typically, the result is lasting psychological and life changes and improved well-being.
Usually in psychoanalysis the analysand comes several times a week, lies on a couch, and communicates as openly as possible. The analysand’s thoughts are allowed to wander freely. This reveals the active unconscious elements. Being on the couch and facing away from the analyst makes it easier to talk about embarrassing or difficult topics. It also shifts the focus from outside life to inside life. The greater frequency helps. The painful emotional reality is forced to stay within conscious awareness and be worked through.