What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is a form of psychotherapy, which certainly concerns itself with the present but is based on the concept that current perceptions, feelings and interpersonal relations are affected by past experience and early relationships.

The more we understand about the driving forces, that is, the wishes and conflicts behind our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, the more comfortable we are with ourselves and others. Thus, the more control we have over our lives. Since those forces are unconscious — beyond our awareness — learning about them requires the help of a trained, objective observer.

Without understanding the underlying causes of problems, psychotherapy often provides little more than symptom relief and those same wishes and conflicts must then find a new outlet, creating new symptoms.

More Than a Band-Aid Solution

This is one of the reasons people repeatedly return to counseling. Many people come to me after having been in therapy as much as six times before. Imagine if your doctor gave you something to relieve your pain without finding out what caused the pain in the first place. The underlying problem will just fester until it gets bad enough that the painkiller no longer masks the symptom or new symptoms develop. The process of psychoanalysis can provide more than a band-aid solution. While it does involve the investment of time, money and effort, it can help you develop the self-awareness and interactive abilities needed to make healthier decisions about whatever life throws at you.
What is Psychoanalysis

As a skilled, objective, non-judgmental observer, I can help you see things about yourself that you don’t now see. Some of what I say may displease you or make you uncomfortable yet going through this process can empower you to change what you don’t like. You may also learn about strengths and abilities you never knew you had. Many of my patients find that their creative thinking flows more freely as conflicts which serve to inhibit the creative process are resolved.

Of course, no one’s life can be perfect but when problems or conflicts arise, you would have developed the skills to analyze what’s happening and to address the issue pro-actively long after you’ve competed psychoanalysis.

How long does psychoanalysis take?

One of the many things I enjoy about being a psychotherapist is that even when there are similar issues involved, no two patients are exactly alike. Outcomes are affected by many things, including the nature of the main issues in question and how disruptive they are, the patient’s motivation level, availability of external support systems or the lack of them, frequency of visits, etc.

Further, while it may sound illogical, despite the fact that people enter psychotherapy in order to make changes in their lives, they tend to resist those very changes. We all know how scary even positive changes can be. So the outcome of therapy or the speed with which it is attained can be greatly impacted by the level of a person’s resistance to the process.

Why use the couch?

People have different thoughts and feelings about “being on the couch”. They think they’ll feel silly talking to the ceiling or they fear it means they’re “really sick”.

Using the couch serves a purpose and when used by a trained psychoanalyst it can greatly enhance the work. By eliminating distractions, such as the patient’s search for reactions from the therapist, patients are enabled to focus inwardly which helps them get more in touch with themselves.

Having said that, no one is ever forced to do anything in therapy they don’t want to do. Young children, in particular, are developmentally not ready to work that way.

If you have any questions, or wish to arrange an appointment, please call me at 212-475-3488.