“It has been my fate 'to disturb the peace of the world.'” - Sigmund Freud
“A good relation to ourselves is a condition for love, tolerance and wisdom towards others... if we have become able, deep in our unconscious minds, to clear our feelings to some extent towards our parents of grievances, and have forgiven them for the frustrations we had to bear, the we can be a peace with ourselves and are able to love others in the true sense of the word.” - Melanie Klein
“The first thing to say about the unconscious... is what Freud says about it: It consists of thoughts... what is essential in repression... is not that affect is suppressed, but that it is displaced and misrecognizable.” - Jacques Lacan
“The particular activity of psychoanalysis is 'the scientific pursuit of the psychic unconscious'... Psychoanalysis is 'a psychology of repression.'” - Sigmund Freud
“Although love-relationships in adult live are founded upon early emotional situations in connection with parents, brothers and sisters, the new relationships are not necessarily mere repetitions of early family situations. Unconscious memories, feelings and phantasies enter into the new love-relationship or friendship in quite disguised ways.” - Melanie Klein
“Just because people ask you for something doesn't mean that's what they really want you to give them... Desire is the crux of the entire economy we deal with in psychoanalysis. If we fail to take it into account, we are necessarily led to adopt as our only guide what is symbolized by the term 'reality,' a reality existing in a social contract... the very foundation of interhuman discourse is misunderstanding.” - Jacques Lacan
“Feelings of guilt and the drive to make reparation are intimately bound up with the emotion of love. If, however, the early conflict between love and hate has not been satisfactorily dealt with, of if guilt is too strong, this may lead to a turning away from loved people or even to a rejection of them.” - Melanie Klein
“The Oedipus Complex is justifiably regarded as the kernel of neuroses.” - Sigmund Freud
“In the development of mankind as a whole, just as in individuals, love alone acts as the civilizing factor in the sense that it brings a change from egoism to altruism.” - Sigmund Freud
“What the subject finds is not what motivated his attempt at refinding... the crux of desire is essentially found in impossibilities.” - Jacques Lacan
“It is clear that emotions first appear in the early relation of the child to his mother's breasts, and that they are experienced fundamentally in connection with the desired person. It is necessary to go back to the mental life of the baby in order to study the interaction of all the various forces which go to build up this most complex of all human emotions which we call love.” - Melanie Klein
“I can assure you that, through the supposition of unconscious mental processes, a critical new direction in the world and in science is open to us.” - Sigmund Freud
The purpose of psychoanalytic treatment is to help people change and progress in their lives at not only a conscious but also an unconscious level. The development of self-awareness or insight is part of the process of achieving progress in a positive direction.
Psychoanalytic treatment gives patients the opportunity to examine themselves intensively in order to attain greater freedom in the life choices they make. Psychoanalysis is a treatment approach based on the observation that individuals are often unaware of many of the factors that determine their emotions and behaviour. These unconscious factors may be the source of considerable distress and unhappiness, sometimes in the form of recognisable symptoms and at other times as troubling personality traits, difficulties in work and/or in love relationships, or disturbances in mood and self-esteem. Because these forces are unconscious, the advice of friends and family, the reading of self-help books, or even the most determined efforts of will, often fail to provide relief.
Psychoanalysis, as a treatment method, is based on concepts concerning unconscious mental processes originally developed by Sigmund Freud and further developed by a considerable number of experienced psychoanalysts such as Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Jacques Lacan, and many others who have followed.
Psychoanalytic treatment can reveal how these unconscious factors affect current relationships and patterns of behaviour, trace them back to their historical origins, show how they have changed and developed over time, and help the individual to deal better with the realities of adult life.
In the course of intensive psychoanalytic treatment, the nature of the relationship which inevitably develops will have significant features deriving from the “internal world” of the patient and become available for experience and exploration by the patient and psychoanalyst together. It will become possible to understand many of these aspects more deeply and to work upon making meaningful desirable changes.
There are many reasons that individuals seek psychoanalysis; to gain insight, to acquire greater self-awareness, and to gain relief from some of their inner problems. These inner problems may become evident as symptoms such as feelings of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, obsessions and compulsions. They may also be evident as personality traits that keep interfering with the individual's ability to move forward with their private or professional lives. Perhaps the individual is having trouble in work situations; repetitive patterns of disappointment in personal relationships, not getting along with bosses or co-workers, seeming lethargic and not connected with friends or colleagues, physical complaints that might be manifestations of underlying emotional conflict, or coping with personal losses and transitions.These are all examples of the sorts of problems for which people seek psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis is often indicated when other less intensive therapies have failed to achieve the desired results. It offers something different and more comprehensive, and is a good place to turn when symptoms are persistent or when behavioural or relationship patterns continue after one or two attempts at less intensive, shorter term psychotherapy.
Sometimes, however, individuals enter psychoanalytic treatment simply because they are curious about themselves or because they are themselves mental health practitioners who need a deeper understanding about how they and other human beings function.
The central common ground shared by all psychoanalysts is the concept of the unconscious determinants of behaviour and the influence of the past on the present. The intensity and duration of psychoanalytically-based treatment varies, but many clinicians and patients find that more frequent visits to a psychoanalyst can best arrive at and address core problems. Frequent visits are important to keep the process going and deepening. Usually appointments are scheduled four times per week.
The psychoanalytic couch is a famous cultural icon, and it is still found useful. Patients recline on the couch and the analyst sits slightly behind them. Most patients find this arrangement very comfortable, after a little acclimatation. This unusual set -up is conducive to allowing "free association", an essential psychoanalytic technique in which the patient is encouraged to let her mind wander freely and speak whatever thoughts come into her mind. The removal of the social cues of a face to face conversation has a remarkable effect of freeing up the patient's mind, ultimately leading to deeper insights.