Frequently Asked Questions About Psychoanalysis Therapy


Although indirect, global economic crises can also impact mental health. While it may initially start as a disappointment, it can lead to more serious mental health conditions.

One of the therapies that could help a mental health condition is psychoanalysis therapy. Psychoanalysis emphasizes the unconscious. This approach Psychoanalysis believes that unconscious conflicts lead to troubled moods, anxiety, and depressive thoughts. Thus, Psychoanalysis aims to bring these unconscious conflicts to the conscious mind.


Psychoanalysis therapy is a type of “talk therapy.” It primarily spends time on the patients talking about their past and present. From this, the therapist looks for significant events or traumas that may cause the patient’s current issues. The therapist explores as early as a person’s childhood life events.

This therapy is a collaboration between the therapist and the patient. It requires full commitment from the patient, especially because it is also a lengthy process. Moreover, the long therapy duration will also mean more expenses.

Although there will be several setbacks, a healthy mind is still possible. By deciding to seek professional help, you are taking a step in the right direction.

If you want to learn the things you might not know about this type of therapy, read the frequently asked questions below. 

What is psychoanalytic therapy used for?

Psychoanalytic therapy is used for helping people deal with all sorts of psychological and emotional dilemmas. These problems include depression, emotional issues, traumas, neurotic behavior patterns, self-destructive behavior patterns, relationship issues, and even personality disorders.

What is an example of psychoanalysis?

Most psychoanalysis forms involve tracing down current psychological issues or traumas to past experiences, especially childhood experiences. For example, if someone is afraid of cats, it may be because of an unpleasant experience with cats before.

It could be because a cat previously scratched that person, and she was traumatized by the pain. After coming down to the possible unconscious connection, it will try to reframe or address this link.

What techniques did Freud use in psychoanalysis?

Freud’s psychoanalysis included techniques such as free association and dream analysis. In free association, the client is encouraged to freely talk about their thoughts and feelings, revealing the unconscious.

In this technique, the analyst listens to hidden meanings known as Freudian slips, which indicate the client’s repressed perceptions. In dream analysis, the therapist looks for hidden, symbolic meanings that may reveal your unconscious thoughts and motivations.

What is psychoanalysis in simple terms?

In simple terms, psychoanalysis help solve psychological problems by looking into the unconscious, repressed trauma, and past experiences.

Specifically, psychoanalysts’ central premise is that most of our issues are rooted in what the unconscious mind contains. They believe that this is because there are repressed thoughts, feelings, and traumas hidden in the unconscious.

However, these manifest through the disturbances a person experiences, which they may not be aware of the connection. This approach hopes to bring a cure by making the person aware of their unconscious thoughts and motivation.

In this way, the person will hopefully address the right problem and deal with it better.

Is psychoanalysis still practiced?

Freud’s version of psychoanalysis has been disproven, but there are also succeeding versions of it, and they are still practiced. It can be expensive, and the stereotypical couch therapy is not all true. There should be a dialogue exchange between the therapists and the client for any treatment to be effective.

However, psychoanalysis has been marginalized and has been struggling to survive in the academic and clinical community.

What is the main goal of psychoanalysis?

It aims to make a person aware of one’s unconscious thoughts and motivation. By being aware of these unconscious things, you can also recognize related patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

What disorders does psychoanalysis treat?

Just like other forms of psychological therapy, it can also treat a variety of psychological disorders. Some of these are depression, generalized anxiety, sexual issues, self-destructive behaviors, and thinking.

It can also address identity disorders, psychosomatic disorders, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

What is psychoanalysis a knowledge of?

Psychoanalysis is a branch of human psychology that investigates the unconscious mind and pathological development throughout life stages. It has influenced clinical mental healthcare and even other disciplines such as anthropology, education, and neuroscience.


What is another word for psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is also synonymous with psychiatry, psychotherapy, and psychodynamics. Other words, such as counseling, therapy, treatment, mental therapy, and rehabilitation, are also related to psychoanalysis.

Why does psychoanalysis take so long?

Psychological therapy is like going to the gym for your dream body. You cannot have an overnight miracle.

The repetitiveness of your symptoms is what drove you to seek help in the first place. And something chronic is not easy to break, especially if it’s something rooted deep in your childhood experiences. Meaning it is something you have believed in for years, whether you are aware of it or not.

Disbelieving and teaching old muscles new tricks can be the hardest things to do.

Why is psychoanalysis criticized?

It is criticized for focusing too much on the unconscious, sex and aggression, and childhood experience. Critics argue that development is limited to childhood alone; instead, it is a lifelong process and not linear. Many experts have also refuted the idea that all children go through so many traumatic experiences in their childhood.

Thinkers also argued that the unconscious connection to present problems is more of a difficulty in memory retrieval. Also, the unconscious mind is not all just repressed stress and pain or traumas. It also consists of information, memory, perception, and emotion that may be or may not be suppressed.

What is the difference between psychotherapy and psychoanalysis?

The main difference is their focus, approach, and their goal.  Firstly, psychoanalysis focuses on the unconscious, whereas psychotherapy deals more with the ego or the active agency side.

The purpose of psychotherapy is to strengthen your ego and restore your behavior around social norms. In comparison, psychoanalysis aims to make you stronger over your unconscious thoughts.

Lastly, the psychoanalysts’ approach lets you decide after helping you realize your underlying thoughts and motivation. In contrast, psychotherapists try to influence your decision-making and how your behavior is modified.

Can you psychoanalyze yourself?

Perhaps you can do a certain level of psychoanalysis by yourself. You could reflect and think back on the relation of your current behavior and thoughts on your past experiences. However, if your problem is something chronic and destructive to you and others, it means you need professional help.

Moreover, seeking psychoanalysis from a licensed psychologist is always better than trying to do it on your own.

How long is too long in therapy?

How long is too long in therapy is determined by the purpose behind seeking therapy for you is. If you aim to alleviate your symptoms or treat a disorder, it usually takes a few weeks to a few years. Once your problem is solved, you should be done with therapy.

There is also the type of clients who goes to treatment as if they are going to the gym. It means that you go to treatment for your wellness and making your life better, and you are not treating any conditions. For this type, you can go to therapy all you want.

How long does psychoanalysis usually take?

The length of the treatment varies depending on the client’s specific needs and therapy type. Numerous psychodynamic approaches limit the number of sessions, like Brief Relational Therapy (BRT), Psychodynamic Therapy, and Time-Limited Dynamic Therapy (TLDP).

These types of treatments only allow 20-30 sessions. But full-blown psychoanalysis can take up to 3-7 years.

There is no superior approach for any mental health condition. It will depend on what the therapist deems as needed. Psychoanalytic therapy is just one of the many techniques that can alleviate the situation. This approach may have pros and cons, and it will vary on the factors that could affect your progress.


Psychoanalytic therapy is highly effective in treating psychological disorders. It addresses the root cause of these disorders, which helps create healthier coping mechanisms. Consequently, it also reduces the symptoms of these disorders.

Psychoanalytic therapy itself uses different techniques to examine a pattern of how the behavior developed.

Despite the benefits of psychoanalytic therapy, it also has some drawbacks. This approach will take longer, so make sure to take consider the financial situation. If you have insurance, you can inquire with your provider if they can cover therapy costs.

The therapist may not focus on just one approach. For instance, the psychoanalytic approach deals more with the unconscious and childhood events. Thus, it might not be able to address other aspects of the patient’s life. So combining it with different approaches may yield better results. 

For example, the therapist may use CBT to help reframe negative thoughts. As psychoanalytic therapy digs deeper into your unconscious, CBT can help deal with these thoughts better. 

The goal of therapies is to improve your overall being. But be reminded that the effects may not be instant. It is a slow and gradual process. You might experience up and down emotions, and you might feel minimal improvements in the beginning. But don’t lose hope, trust the process, and believe in yourself. In time, you will get better.

Holistic wellness is always possible. After all, our well-being is multifactorial. With your therapist, family, friends, and most especially yourself, you can be your happier self.

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