Psychoanalytic theory, the theory that guides psychoanalysis, was first developed by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic treatment method founded in the study of the unconscious mind. Freud believed that people could be cured of any number of mental health issues by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, which provides insights into the root of the issue. The goal of is to release pent-up or repressed emotions and memories to lead the client to catharsis, or healing. Traditionally, psychoanalysis sessions will occur 4–5 times a week, with clients lying on a couch, and the therapist (or analyst) often sitting just behind and out of sight. The client will express their thoughts, dreams and fantasies, which the analyst will examine to help the client gain powerful insights. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s psychoanalytic experts today.

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Psychoanalytic therapy focuses on understanding your are formed by both your past, and your unconscious processes. This type of therapy puts the patient at the center, and focuses on empathic atunement and listening. Through understanding who we are and how we got here, we can better understand the issues that plague us in our everyday lives. And we can learn to mourn the losses of the past and move forward, choosing a better future.

— James Nole, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I completed a four-year full-time training in psychoanalysis at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center of New York in 2001, including Freudian, ego psychology, object relations, interpersonal, self psychology, modern and intersubjective/relational (my primary focus) approaches.

— Jonathan Lebolt, Psychotherapist in Livingston, NJ

The current versions of psychoanalytic therapy all examine how a person’s mind works and affects their view of themselves and the world they live in. One central focus is that unconscious factors affect current relationships and behaviors. Psychoanalysis changed since Freud founded it. I focus on how the ways trauma and attachment are central to understanding how the mind works and impacts current thinking, feeling, and behaving, as in my new book, Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development.

— Carl H. Shubs, Ph.D., Psychologist in Beverly Hills, CA

I am currently a student of Jungian psychoanalysis through the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. Psychoanalytic therapy aims to understand processes of our unconscious and how they impact our functioning in our daily lives. Psychoanalytic therapy is a deep dive into your complexes and personal history. Psychoanalytic theories used in conjunction with other experiential and somatic types of therapy can assist us in bringing our unconscious threads to consciousness.

— Kyra Paules, Clinical Social Worker in Boiling Springs, PA

I approach therapy through a Contemporary Psychoanalytic Lens to understand what is being communicated through one's behaviors and understand how past experiences influence current relationships. As we form a relationship, I have found individuals develop stronger insight, aiding with a deeper understanding of self, and experiencing more lasting and sustainable relief.

— Jon Soileau, Licensed Professional Counselor in Kansas City, MO

After graduate school, I completed two years of advanced clinical training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis in 2015. Prior to that, I participated in the fellowship program with the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute (2010-2011) and the fellowship program with the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (2011-2013).

— Sara Todd, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Madison, WI

I was introduced to modern psychoanalysis through Naropa University, and have continued to deepen with ongoing studies at The Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in Manhattan, NY.

— Grace Ballard, Sex Therapist in New York, NY

I am trained in Modern Analysis. I will help you put words to your thoughts, feelings and urges.

— Melissa Barbash, Counselor in Denver, CO

I completed training in psychoanalysis at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center of New York in 2001. My training was eclectic and I have a contemporary relational approach.

— Jonathan Lebolt, Psychotherapist in Livingston, NJ

Why psychodynamic/analytic therapy? The here and now psychotherapy relationship opens a stunning window into past, present, and future; into the deep wisdom of the unconscious; and into a creative flexibility that brings more and more wholesomeness, freedom, intimacy, and flourishing of the soul. I have doctoral and postdoctoral training in various contemporary analytic approaches, and I practice from a liberatory, feminist, relational stance.

— Aleisa Myles, Psychologist in Media, PA

The psychoanalytic method involves an analyst and an analysand, one listens while the other speaks. At some point in this process it becomes apparent that something has been repressed, cut-off, dis-jointed, in the mind of the analysand and the analyst works to bring this unconscious conflict to light.

— Benjamin Ramey, Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado Springs, CO

Psychoanalysis has so many confusing definitions which are worsened by how unethical therapy often depicted. Psychoanalytic therapy, for me, looks at what we are aware of and digs deeper to see what you might not be aware is there, but is affecting us negatively (ex: internalized transphobia, ableism, social or family messages of our values and worth as humans). In therapy I do ask about our pasts and how they are still currently affecting us and, sometimes, how that can be harmful to our health

— Shirley Roseman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

This approach explore how the unconscious mind influences your thoughts, behaviors and feelings. I believe Anxiety and depressive symptoms are manifestations of deeper challenges that we will uncover together.

— Fatemah Dhirani, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY