Psychoanalytic

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.

Meet the specialists

If there are experiences you had

— Rich Lombino, Therapist in Wilmington, DE
 

This approach looks into how older patterns are getting in the way of your current experience of the world. By working through these early experiences, new options are available for relating to yourself and others in your current life.

— Mary Bruce-Owenby, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

My thesis research was based in psychoanalytic theories of Attachment Theory to understand how creating art as a clinician can deepen my understanding of you as my client. I am committed to this research and continue to use and implement this techniques and research psychoanalytic texts that support my work.

— Juliette Hayt, Art Therapist in New York, NY

Psychoanalytic Therapy (talk or insight therapy) helps connect events of the past to thoughts and behaviors of today.

— Hava Jarosz, Therapist in Baltimore, MD

I practice contemporary psychoanalytic therapy. This means I pay attention to how your past relationships affect the way you learn to regulate and manage emotions in your day-to-day life. Our brains are built through repeated interactions with our earliest relationships and environments, and can be changed through the experience of a new relationship: therapy. This means I consider our work in session as a chance to learn new ways of experiencing your emotions that lead to joy-filled life.

— Connor McClenahan, Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA
 

Psychoanalytic theory influences my approach due to what I perceive be the clinical significance of naming and working with the unconscious or, to steal a phrase and put it another way, to work with the knowledge we do not know we know which exerts an influence on us.

— Davin Reich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in BROOKLYN, NY

Psychoanalytic theory influences my approach due to what I perceive be the clinical significance of naming and working with the unconscious.

— Davin Reich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in BROOKLYN, NY
 

Psychoanalysis is the treatment methodology and theory that informs psychodynamic therapy. In addition to what I note in regards to psychodynamic therapy, I engage in ongoing education and the study of psychoanalysis via reading groups, continuing education, and professional organizations (Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychology of the APA). Essential to psychoanalytic study, I have personally been a patient in analysis since 2013.

— Adam Hinshaw, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
 

Psychoanalytic treatment influences my approach due to what I perceive be the clinical relevance of working with the unconscious or, to steal a phrase, the knowledge we do not know we know which exerts an influence over us.

— Davin Reich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in BROOKLYN, NY

Psychoanalytic theory influences my approach due to what I perceive be the clinical significance of working with the unconscious.

— Davin Reich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in BROOKLYN, NY
 

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— Blair Wellness, Psychiatrist in Beverly Hills, CA

From a psychoanalytic approach, I follow the models as a fourth by Jacques Lacan. He takes an additional step past Freud and recognizes the interplay of language and culture as reflections of our behavior that often go unnoticed. In bringing out some of these nuanced influences, a person can become much more aware of why they act and think the way they do.

— Benjamin Meyer, Counselor in Worthington, OH
 

I'm a certified psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

— Daniel G. Butler, Counselor in San Francisco, CA

Psychoanalytic theory influences my approach due to what I perceive be the clinical significance of naming and working with the unconscious or, to paraphrase a psychoanalytic figure, "the knowledge" we don't know that we know which exerts an influence on us.

— Davin Reich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in BROOKLYN, NY
 

I have received three years of specialized clinical training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. As a skilled and intuitive clinician, I have been trained to listen for unconscious material that is causing internal conflicts (often leading to depression or anxiety), distorting perspectives, blocking growth and development, and interfering with relationships. With compassion and insight we will work to remove those barriers that are keeping you from living the life you desire.

— C.J. Sanders, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

The Psychoanalytic model is client-centered and focuses on the past experiences of each client. Past experiences often impact current life situations which can hinder productive growth in the here and now. Past experiences such as childhood trauma or family life cycles are addressed to identify behavioral patterns that require change in the clients life.

— Deahdra Chambers, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Biscoe, NC
 

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy derives from psychoanalysis. The idea is an in-depth exploration of your inner world and understanding how it affects the life you're living today in order to get to a place of real resolution. Or more simply: I'm joining you, sometimes to listen and sometimes to guide or question through this journey of exploring your mind and your real self. In a space where you have complete freedom to say what’s running through your head- good or bad, without being judged.

— Yaron M. Peer, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY

Psychoanalytic therapy is essentially synonymous with psychodynamic therapy (see below). Some use the term "psychoanalytic" to refer to psychodynamic therapy that is more like psychoanalysis (e.g., with multiple sessions per week, with the client reclining rather than sitting up, with the therapist remaining entirely silent for long stretches of time). Like many psychodynamic therapists, I don't consider this a valid definition.

— Anna C. Lewis, Clinical Psychologist in Napa, CA
 

Psychoanalytic theory influences my approach due to what I perceive be the clinical significance of naming and working with the unconscious or, to paraphrase a psychoanalytic figure, "that which we don't know we know" which exerts an influence on us.

— Davin Reich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in BROOKLYN, NY

This perspective has to do with how you manage conflicts between desires and fears, how the resulting anxiety emerges, and how you cope with that. I have a one-year certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I borrow from several analytic traditions. After all, this perspective has been developing and expanding for decades, and many approaches in therapy owe it a debt.

— Christopher Michael, Clinical Psychologist in Claremont, CA
 

My style is warm & authentic. I take a non-directive stance, meaning that it’s important for me to allow enough space for different aspects of your internal experience to emerge. I will share my thoughts with you, especially when something feels important, but I won’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Our sessions will instead open up a reflective space where we have the freedom & spontaneity to play with different perspectives & think together in ways that feel generative.

— Katie Flach, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Jose, CA
 

While many psychoanalytic concepts can feel dated, psychoanalysis has grown up and can be incredibly helpful. For example, psychoanalysis has great respect for the influence that our past has on our present and on our future. It gives us tools for thinking about how our minds take in information and how we make use of it. Perhaps most importantly, psychoanalysis has great respect for our unconscious minds and seeks to help us understand what might be going on "underneath the surface."

— Marla Cass, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA