We like to think that we know our own mind and are fully in control of the choices we make. So why is it that we can sometimes make the wrong choices, or repeat unhelpful patterns of behaviour? Psychoanalytic psychotherapy embraces the notion that there are parts of our mind that hold sway over the way we think, feel and behave. One important aspect of the therapy is to get to know these aspects of ourselves so that we can be free to make choices that are more in alignment with our current lives, and not governed by the past.
Psychoanalysts are trained to notice subtle aspects of a person’s presentation such as the way in which our thoughts flow, the way in which we convey our experiences, and the moods that accompany these. Developing a better understanding of these processes can, over time, help us to get to know ourselves better, offering us more insight into how we function. This can enable us to make better choices that can lead to positive changes in our lives.
We are experienced in thinking in depth about the nature of the relationship between patient and psychoanalyst, which in itself may give useful clues about what underpins an individual’s difficulties. We are also familiar with working with dreams, faded or unclear memories and thinking about the meaning of bodily experiences that may be caused by psychological factors. These may take time to explore, but psychotherapy is a worthwhile endeavour that can lead to profound and long lasting improvements.