Sometimes very specific mental health treatment options become part of common language and culture. This is certainly true of the term “psychoanalysis”, which is not only mistakenly used in the movies, books and on television, but it is also often very misrepresented.
Some of the most respected and recognised therapists use psychoanalysis as a component of treatment for their clients. It is not at all uncommon for a London psychotherapist to incorporate psychoanalysis as part of the treatment plan, and perhaps the client may not even be aware of the specifics of the therapy.
What is Psychoanalysis?
Although originally developed by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is a constantly evolving type of approach to mental health treatment. It focuses in on helping people to understand how they think about themselves and the world around them and how those thoughts are shaping their choices, behaviours and reactions.
For most situations where a client consults with a London psychotherapist, psychoanalysis will be used in a long-term treatment plan. This is important when the problems the individual is facing are not the result of one specific issue.
For example, if a client is experiencing extreme grief due to the loss of a loved one, there are specific short-term interventions that can be used to address the overwhelming sense of sorrow, loss and even abandonment that the individual is experiencing. However, if there is a pattern of loss, abandonment and feelings of being isolated that are not related to a specific and recent issue, psychotherapy to help to understand the roots of these feelings is a much more effective treatment option.
The Unconscious Connection
Any London psychotherapist using psychoanalysis has additional training in working with the mind at the unconscious level. For many patients, it will be challenging to delve deeper into their thoughts and to bring to the surface issues that may have been buried or pushed deep into the unconscious because of the pain and discomfort they caused.
In the sessions, the therapist allows the client to talk, posing questions and topics and then supporting the client as he or she explores the images, thoughts and emotions that those issues bring forth.
With the advanced training, the therapist is able to subtly provide the opportunity for the patient to uncover or unearth more of what is in the unconscious mind. This discussion allows for greater personal insight and also allows the client to work through problems and challenges they may have been avoiding for years.
This can include talking to the psychotherapist about childhood memories, hopes and dreams, past conflicts that may not have been resolved and how they are impacting or are related to the challenges that are occurring in the client’s daily life.
A highly skilled and experienced London psychotherapist using psychoanalysis has the ability to give an interpretation to what the client is bringing forth in the sessions. This captures the emotions, the content, and the issues, and then allows time for the patient to absorb, think about and process the interpretation and how it is shaping their thoughts, ideas and actions today.