With the help of the method of free association and the related technique of interpretation, Psychoanalysis … led to a totally fresh attitude and a fresh scale of values in scientific thought.
– Sigmund Freud
What is it?
Psychoanalysis is a modality of psychological therapy, but it also constitutes a scientific theory of the human mind and a scientific activity of clinical research.
Psychoanalysis constitutes as well a way of viewing cultural and social phenomena like literature, art, movies, performances, politics and groups.
Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud between 1885 and 1939, but nowadays it still continues to be developed all over the world, being applied in various forms.
Therefore, today there exist various psychoanalytic treatment methods, namely for adults, adolescents, children, families, parents, marital couples, therapeutic groups and social contexts.
What does it consist of?
As a therapy, Psychoanalysis differs from other psychotherapeutic modalities by the depth of its intervention and by the resource to the method of Free Association and the related technique of Interpretation.
Psychoanalysis enables the recovery of psychological development, often blocked, and the reconstruction of mental life.
How does it start?
A psychoanalytical treatment should only start after a careful Psycological Evaluation, in order to clarify the capabilities and difficulties of an individual and to exploit the most adequate therapeutic modality to his or her specific situation.
Is it credible?
The tuition of a psychoanalyst requires a long and rigorous training. The solid theoretical training is complemented by an experience of personal analysis (Personal Psychoanalysis) and by a clinical practice carried out under the supervision of more experienced professionals (Supervision of Clinical Cases).
Psychoanalysis involves intensive work, dedication and patience. The psychoanalysts’ main task consists in improving the inner world of their analysands, in the private space of their offices, through reflexive and creative methods. On the other hand, Psychoanalysis requires also an important commitment from analysands, mainly in terms of time and energy.
How did it arise?
Psychoanalysis was created and developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century / early 20th century, but it has been gradually evolving and expanding the scope of its application.
Currently, in addition to the approach of the person as an individual (Personal Psychoanalysis), Psychoanalysis covers the person’s more meaningful / intimate relationships (Couple and Family Psychoanalysis) and, also, the person’s life in society (Political Mind: the role of the unconscious in political and social life).
Is it expensive?
The demands of contemporary society have led to the development of more reduced and affordable psychoanalytic therapies than Psychoanalysis, although less intensive and profound.
They are the so called Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies, which assume diverse modalities, depending on the needs and goals to achieve.
How has it been evolving?
Over the last decades Psychoanalysis has achieved remarkable scientific progress, with several contributions of international relevance within the scope of the International Psychoanalytical Association.
On the other hand, scientific advances in Neuroscience and Behavioural Medicine have shown that, similarly as many physical illnesses, mental and behavioural disorders are the result of a complex interaction of biological, psychological and social factors.
More recently, important scientific investigations and breakthroughs in the area of neuroscience have confirmed, finally, the relevance of Psychoanalysis and furnished significant and growing evidence for its effectiveness as a treatment for psychological disorder.
The scientific research in neuroscience provided an organic structural and neurophysiologic basis to psychoanalytic theory and practice. The reciprocal influence between psychological, emotional and behavioural life and the biological and brain field was clarified and demonstrated. Equally, the investigations in neuroscience confirmed, in an very objective way, the effects of the changes caused by psychotherapeutical processes at the level of neurophysiology and brain biology.
For illustrative purposes, it was proven that children subject to a traumatic framework of abuse increase and develop certain warning mechanisms, accompanied by specific developments and brain performances. Such situations can be changed through psychotherapeutical treatments, which allow the recovery of a more proper standard brain.