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6 Ways Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Can Help You

Image of Katherine Broadway's office with dog, counseling, Raleigh Psychotherapy, psychoanalysis

Would you want to work with just any therapist, or would you rather work with one who could be more effective than his or her peers?

Recent research has shown therapists in the psychoanalytic tradition can be more effective with their clients because their goal is not just symptom relief but to find the underlying causes of what is hurting you.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy has been developing for more than 100 years. Sigmund Freud, a pioneer in the field, has a bad reputation in some circles because of his emphasis on sexual fantasies. While his theories were not completely correct, he is acknowledged for making revolutionary advancements in the field.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy and analysis have a proven track record. Studies have shown its effectiveness for relieving emotional pain, increasing self-awareness, and creating a more stable satisfying life.

Six ways that a psychoanalytic psychotherapist can help you.

1. Creating a safe place.

One of the primary goals of the therapist is to listen and determine what you need in order to create a safe place. It is out of this safety that the work happens. Your relationship with your therapist is the most important aspect of therapy.

2. Understand the symptom.

Symptoms are what usually bring someone to therapy. The goal is to listen to the meaning of the symptom while working to get relief from the pain. Beginning with the here and now, the symptom will lead to what is the underlying issue.

3. Look for the unverbalized experience.

Many of life’s painful experiences are stored before they can be verbalized. These experiences get buried deep inside. Your therapist can help uncover them and point out how they influence you in your current life.

4. Look for messages from the unconscious mind.

Our emotional pain and confusion are usually caused by factors beyond what we see on the surface. They are stored in the unconscious mind. One of the unique aspects of psychoanalytic psychotherapy is that it believes that the unconscious mind holds the information needed to know our true self and to bring about personal growth. The roadblocks to your healing are hidden there.

5. Recognize transference.

What happens in your everyday life will happen in therapy. This gives you the opportunity to explore the meaning of these interactions and the feelings that are evoked by them in a safe environment with a safe person. It is a place where you can practice new behaviors and skills.

6. Listens beyond words.

The therapist will hear the nuances of what is said, and what is not said. She will ask questions and focus on things that before went unnoticed. She will help you make sense of your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy offers a way of understanding you and your experience. It listens beyond symptoms in order to help you make sense of your life and what hurts you. It helps you become self-aware so that you will feel you are in charge of your life. Finally, it brings you to a place where you feel good about yourself and are satisfied with your life.

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