Example of psychoanalysis
The concept of psychoanalysis was first popularized by the famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is based on the belief that all humans have deep, unconscious beliefs, thoughts, memories, and desires. These arise from their prior experiences or hidden conflicts in their thought process. These beliefs shape our present “sense of self.” A lot of our present stressors arise from these beliefs and fears that people subconsciously carry (“emotional baggage”).
Psychoanalysis involves helping to manage this “emotional baggage.” The patient is encouraged to talk freely about their personal experiences in sessions with their shrink (psychologist/psychiatrist). They are especially asked about their early childhood experiences and dreams. Thus, the way people behave or suffer emotionally may be linked to a deeply concealed emotion in their subconscious mind. Something that happened months or years before may influence the behavior of the person in the present day.
Psychoanalysis is a popular psychotherapy method that may help people struggling with long-term difficulties in the way they feel and think about themselves, the world, and the people around them. The therapy helps to vent or release the suppressed emotion from the person’s mind. This is the first step to help people heal from psychological issues, such as anxiety and depression. According to Freud, this “insight” or realization of the root cause of the problems is necessary for finding a cure.
Psychoanalysis therapy may take several sessions to get results. The human mind has a defense mechanism that suppresses the catharsis of the hidden emotions. Originally, Freud would ask the patient to lie comfortably on a couch. He would then ask the patient to share their childhood memories and dreams. The process is often lengthy. It may take several sessions over months and even years to get a successful outcome. Some of the examples of psychoanalysis include:
- A 20-year old, well-built and healthy, has a seemingly irrational fear of mice. The fear makes him tremble at the sight of a mouse or rat. He often finds himself in embarrassing situations because of the fear. He feels that even the thought of touching or holding a mouse makes him quake in his boots. On psychoanalysis, it was revealed that he was bitten by a rat when he was a toddler. The wound bled a lot and he had to take injections and medications after that. Thus, an incident that happened years back still affects him and the way he reacts to situations. Several sessions were done to convince him that it was just a childhood experience and now he is strong enough to look after himself. It is not necessary that what happened years back will happen again.
- A lady finds it difficult to have a lasting relationship. She says she does not trust men. She had been in several short-term relationships that ended mainly because her partners found her too indulgent and controlling. She would check their phones and emails without their permission. She would feel that she was not worthy and maybe cheated by others. She had an intense fear of being betrayed or harmed. On digging deeper into her thought process, she revealed that her parents had a stressful marriage. Her father would physically harm her mother. He abandoned the family when she was 5 years old. She feels that all men may be like her father and would harm her in some way.
The psychoanalyst uses several techniques, including dream analysis, to find out the cause of trouble for the person. It may require a long time and patience to successfully know the cause of the problem. Psychoanalysis alone may not completely cure the person of their troublesome thoughts and emotions. However, the cure is not possible without knowing the root cause of the emotions. During the therapy, there may be some degree of distress while recalling the disturbing experiences. The therapy, however, will be safe and rewarding when done under the supervision of an experienced therapist or psychologist.
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McLeod S. Psychoanalysis. Simply Psychology. 2007. https://www.simplypsychology.org/psychoanalysis.html
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