Psychoanalysis is based on the recognition that individuals are often unaware of many unconscious factors that determine their emotions and behavior. These may create states of unhappiness or confusion, problems in work or in love relationships, disturbances in mood and self-esteem, or perhaps a sense of general overall dissatisfaction.
Analysis is an intimate partnership. Analyst and patient work together as a team, uncovering step by step, the underlying sources of the patient’s difficulties, not simply intellectually, but emotionally as well. This analytic process permits the emergence of thoughts, feelings and motivations often out of the awareness of the patient. The psychoanalytic method defines the cutting edge of effective, substantive mental health intervention.
Psychoanalytic treatment illuminates how these unconscious factors affect current relationships and patterns of behavior, how current life difficulties can be linked to historical, now unconscious, origins. By Deciphering old patterns and increasing self-awareness all of us learn to better deal with the realities, difficulties and appreciation of all life has to offer. Patient and analyst join in efforts not only to modify crippling life patterns and remove incapacitating symptoms, but also to expand the freedom to work and to love. Eventually, the patient’s life, his or her behavior, relationships, sense of self, changes in deep and abiding ways.
Through conversation, hints of the unconscious sources of current behavior and feeling states gradually begin to appear. Patients and analysts begin to take note of repetitive patterns of behavior or ways of relating to others, even as they occur within the therapeutic relationship. The analyst helps elucidate these patterns for the patient, who in turn, refines, corrects, rejects, and adds further thoughts and feelings.