Myths haunt psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques. No, there is no more New Yorker-cartoon-like silent analyst sitting behind the couch, taking notes or falling asleep. No, you aren’t left on your own to figure things out, Woody Allen style, over many years of staying the same. As a psychoanalyst, I am active and fully engaged with you and with our work together. Really, psychoanalysis techniques are the best way to resolve persistent symptoms. You are probably wondering why.
Why I Use Psychoanalysis Techniques
But, aren’t psychoanalysis techniques outdated, you may still be asking? They aren’t. But, even so, how any times have I heard the surprised reaction: “Four or five times a week? Isn’t that only for crazy people? Once a week must be enough. Do you really think my problems are that serious?” Or, even: “Doesn’t something like CBT or DBT give me more skills to deal with my symptoms?”
No, psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques aren’t outdated. And, no, they aren’t for crazy people. Also, it’s probably hard to believe that “serious” isn’t the issue. Anyway, if you’re reading this you just might be looking for other opinions. So, no – “skills” to deal with your symptoms aren’t really the answer.
What is the answer, then, you’re probably wondering?
Why “Skills” Aren’t The Answer
It’s a matter of time and space and attention to what you’ve lived with all alone for too long; and is keeping you stuck. Sufficient time and attention, which perhaps you’ve never had or haven’t been able to give to your own feelings for many different reasons, doesn’t mean “crazy” or “too serious.” It’s a matter of what you need and deserve.
Needing something or someone is difficult for many people for many complicated reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s hard for you too. Plus, the idea of psychoanalysis can seem daunting. After all, Freud – in developing his psychoanalysis techniques – is the one who brought to our awareness that unknown realm in all of us called “the unconscious.”
Realizing there are things you don’t know and need help with is hard. For many reasons, you may live with the belief that you’re fine on your own. Being self-sufficient can often feel safer than needing someone’s help. Maybe you even try to use that seemingly ‘reassuring’ mantra: “What I don’t know can’t hurt me.”
Actually – what you don’t know can oppress and defeat you.
Why Psychoanalysis Techniques Are Effective
Many of us spend our lives living out unconscious fantasies that get in the way of having the life we want; fantasies that don’t seem like fantasies at all: “I’m a complete failure.” “No one loves me.” “I’m doomed to be alone forever.” “I’ll never get what I want; so why should I try?”
When you believe those kinds of things, you find ‘proof’ everywhere. Psychoanalysis makes it possible to unveil these convictions for what they are, where they came from, and for the purposes they serve. You have a chance to see yourself and your beliefs differently – and to get to the other side.
I practice psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques because they don’t just give you skills (like behavioral techniques profess to do); which really bypass either your symptoms or how you’re feeling.
More Than Mind Over Matter
Both psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques offer much more than “mind over matter.” They reach deeply into the problem and give you insight and knowledge about yourself you didn’t have before. They also bring you in contact with your feelings; feelings you’ve had to block or rationalize or tell yourself to just “get over.”
I’ve had patients come to me after working in various behavioral therapies still tormented by ruminative thoughts, depression; poor self esteem; and childhood histories that continue to live on inside their symptoms.
Psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques are truly the only method that get to the root of the problem and work these symptoms out.
In my experience over many years of practice, I am convinced that psychoanalysis techniques are most effective for change. Especially for persistent symptoms or problems that continue to keep you stuck.
What Psychoanalysis Techniques Offer You
Psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques allow for a deeper look, and a better chance than once-a-week-therapy, to change those embedded beliefs.
That’s part of the benefit of coming more frequently. And, if you’re very anxious or depressed, the frequency helps you not to feel so alone or overwhelmed between sessions. Of course, taking that deeper look requires courage. But, if I were your analyst, I’d be there every step of the way.
Psychoanalysis is having a heart to heart talk with me; letting me help you find your real feelings – lost amidst the symptoms, the fears, the blocks, and the false explanations about who you think you are; or aren’t.
Our relationship takes on whatever you bring – early fantasies, unsettled hurts, anger, longings, and losses. An emotional language grows between us, a language that belongs to the two of us alone.
Psychoanalysis has changed a great deal from the stereotype of a silent analyst sitting behind the couch. I am active, I talk to you; we have a relationship that feels safer and safer over time.
That rumor, “Freud is Dead”? Don’t listen to it. Psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis techniques are the best option for persistent symptoms. You have the chance to put the pieces of your self together; see your personal history in a new light; and recreate yourself in your own very real image.