NSWIPP > About > What is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

What is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is based on the assumption that our thoughts, feelings. behaviors and ways of relating are shaped by internal maps concerning ourselves and the world. These maps have developed over our life span and are often not available to consciousness yet have an enormous influence on all aspects of our life, including our relationships past and present. In the context of a trusting and safe relationship psychoanalytic psychotherapists facilitate the exploration of these internal maps. They are intensively trained to support individuals in developing their own resources and understandings of the roots of these maps in families of origin and life experiences and in their own internal and external responses to these experiences. Psychoanalytic psychotherapists are trained to help individuals identify how these maps influence their current relationships including the relationship with the therapist. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy thus deals with difficulties as they emerge in the here and now and allows a unique opportunity for in-depth understanding of how our motivations, desires and thoughts shape us in obvious and hidden ways. It aims for improvements in the individual’s ability to work to love and to play as well as symptom relief.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy deeply respects the individuality of each person and the fact that one size does not fit all. Individuals may seek psychoanalytic psychotherapy for relief from a variety of symptoms including eating disorders, phobias, obsessional behavior or other defined symptoms. Psychoanalytic therapy is also helpful in dealing with anxiety and depression and loss of meaning. It is also helpful for individuals who may not feel distressed in the current time but wish to have a deeper understanding in order to actualize their potential.

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