HomeAbout PPCAbout PsychoanalysisPsychoanalytic TrainingJames T. McLaughlin Psychodynamic Psychotherapy CourseClinic without WallsContinuing Education & EventsSupport PPCContact

What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is an in-depth psychotherapeutic technique, involving 4 or 5 treatment sessions per week. In treatment, current day conflicts and symptoms come to be understood in terms of their historical roots, and present anxieties are explored and understood as residues from the past. Through the individual’s intensive exploration of her/his personality and character development, a greater degree of self-realization and understanding can be achieved.

Psychoanalytic treatment is carried out by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other highly trained mental health professionals who have completed an accredited psychoanalytic training program. Psychoanalysis is an endeavor which can lead to triumph over past pains and present discontents. The method is an optimal way of changing one’s psychological fate, and minimizing needless suffering in an attempt to achieve greater fulfillment and meaning to life.

Psychoanalytic theory has provided the foundation not only for psychoanalytic treatment, but also for the myriad therapies that have evolved since psychoanalysis began with the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud. The contributions it has made to our understanding of human motivation and behavior, and to our cultural world, are far reaching.


What Brings Someone to Seek Psychoanalysis?


Psychoanalysis is generally recommended for individuals who suffer from recurrent emotional and behavioral patterns that are severe enough to impact their interpersonal relationships, their work, and/or their ability to enjoy life fully. Anxiety, depression, underachievement, inhibitions, and interpersonal conflicts are some of the symptoms that bring people to psychoanalysis. The intensive exploration of personality and character development during the psychoanalytic process can help the individual gain relief from these painful emotional symptoms. Frequent outcomes of psychoanalytic treatment are improved personal relationships, greater productivity, changes in coping styles, and greater control in one’s life.

Many children and adolescents can benefit from psychoanalysis when environmental interventions and other treatments directed at symptom removal are unable to reach internal conflicts and distress. Psychoanalysis is often the treatment of choice where early trauma and developmental issues are impeding optimal growth. These problems often create stress both inside the home and in the community.