What is psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic method created in the late nineteenth century by the Viennese physician and neurologist Sigmund Freud. A form of ‘talking therapy’, it is based on the idea that our conscious thoughts and feelings are largely determined by unconscious impressions and desires, of which we are not only unaware, but which can often be at odds with our conscious beliefs and wants.
What is it for?
The decision to speak to an analyst about what worries and troubles us does not necessarily need to be the result of a life crisis. It can also be determined by a wish to understand oneself better, to understand one’s desires and values, to free oneself from problematic patterns of behaviour, to learn to better tolerate conflict and find new means of self-realisation.
Psychoanalysis is not a psychological ‘education’; it does not offer self-improvement techniques or advice. Instead, it creates a safe and confidential space where it is possible to express one’s thoughts and wishes freely and openly.
Where do I start?
A consultation can be arranged by telephone or email. During the first session, we will discuss your situation and the possibilities of working together, as well as any questions and concerns you might have. Choosing an analyst who is right for you is vital to the success of any therapy – if you feel that what is offered is not what you are looking for, I will be happy to suggest alternatives or refer you to a colleague.
What about fees?
In psychoanalysis, money also has a symbolic value. Fees and means of payment are negotiated at the beginning of treatment. I have a number of low-fee spaces available for those otherwise unable to afford treatment. Missed sessions (cancelled less than 24 hours in advance) are due in full.
How often and how long?
Sessions are generally 30-40 minutes long, but they can slightly vary in length. Usually you will need to come once or twice a week, although this again depends on your personal circumstances and possibilities.
Although some people feel a difference after only a few sessions, analytical treatment takes time. Learning to ‘listen to’ one’s unconscious and being able to identify trends and patterns of thought and behaviour that make our lives more difficult than need be does not usually happen overnight. On the other hand, long-term work may sometimes be unnecessary or unsuited to the specific moment and circumstances.