Psychoanalysis works on many of the same principles as relational psychodynamic psychotherapy. It can be particularly useful for helping you to recover from painful childhood experiences and traumas that have left you feeling damaged, alienated from others, and trapped within a painful existence. It is an intensive and depth form of treatment. Here are some of the unique features of psychoanalysis that distinguish it from other forms of psychotherapy:
- Session frequency – four to five times per week
- Treatment length – not uncommon to last several years
- Use of the couch – lying down and free from the constraints of face to face contact in order to more fully access the workings of your unconscious mind
- Sustained focus upon the spontaneous thoughts, feelings, and fantasies generated within your mind
- Sustained focus upon the interaction between patient and analyst as a way for us to experience and understand your mind together and to generate new ways of being and relating to yourself and others
It may seem strange to consider dedicating four to five hours per week to a therapeutic intervention for years at a time. Given our fast paced, action oriented culture where most of us have too much to do and too little time it may seem impractical. It is certainly going against the grain of the social norms and ideals embedded within our culture where there is an expectation to quickly identify and resolve the problems we face. The problem is that quick fixes are often superficial and fail to help in a way that lasts.
Throughout human history every culture has created some form of structured time for reflection and communion. Imagine how different life could be by dedicating an hour a day to reflection and communion. That is what psychoanalysis offers. And when your difficulties are the result of a lifetime of learning to feel bad about yourself and frightened of living it can take an intensive long term endeavor to change these core issues.
If we find that you are interested in and can benefit from psychoanalysis, I will work with you to create a session schedule and fee arrangement that is manageable for you. Psychotherapy outcome research supports the effectiveness of psychoanalysis and its methods are supported by a growing body of neuroscience and infant development research.