What is Psychoanalysis?

ChairCouchPsychoanalysis is a comprehensive theory about human nature, motivation, behavior, development and experience. And it is a method of treatment for psychological problems and difficulties in living a successful life.

As a general theory of individual human behavior and experience, psychoanalytic ideas enrich and are enriched by the study of the biological and social sciences, group behavior, history, philosophy, art, and literature. As a developmental theory, psychoanalysis contributes to child psychology, education, law, and family studies. Through its examination of the complex relationship between body and mind, between personal history and social context, psychoanalysis also furthers our understanding of the role of emotions in health as well as in medical illness.

The psychoanalytic framework stresses the importance of understanding:

  1. that each individual is unique,
  2. that there are factors outside of a person’s awareness (unconscious thoughts, feelings and experiences) which influence his or her thoughts and actions,
  3. that the past shapes the present
  4. that human beings are always engaged in the process of development throughout their lives.

To learn more about psychoanalytic treatment and psychoanalysis as a theory of the mind, go to http://www.apsa.org/content/about-psychoanalysis

For information on recent research comparing CBT and analytic therapies,courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd, go to http://gu.com/p/4fhy3/sbl