People come to psychotherapy for many reasons. Part of being human is that we can find ourselves in situations that feel overwhelming. You may be aware of damaging or upsetting patterns of thought or behaviour, or have experienced a particular crisis or change that has left you struggling. People also come to psychotherapy because of anxiety, problems of self-image or identity, or a lack of self-worth, addiction, depression, or relationship difficulties. Many feel stuck or uncertain in their lives. You may have a sense of being unable to connect with others or feel very self-critical.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy provides a space to look at these and other states of mind. They are part of the human experience. Through working together the aim would be to locate and understand the roots of your experience and in so doing can provide a basis for change.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy accepts that we all have an unconscious life and that this can exert a powerful hold: we often can’t simply stop feeling as we do. It may be only through talking to someone else, trained to listen in a particular way, that we can come to understand what is going on underneath the surface level of our experience. Over time you may get to know what you really feel, think or value.
In psychoanalytic psychotherapy you are encouraged to talk as freely as possible about whatever is on your mind to someone trained to listen in a particular way. You may want to talk about your dreams, which can give important clues to anxieties and hopes. It may be important to think about your early life as well as what’s going on now. Over time, symptoms, conflicts or issues that are part of your experience can be seen to have a meaning. Links to your life experience can be thought about. As well as helping to alleviate distress, psychotherapy can help you towards a clearer sense of yourself, your thoughts and desires.
How long does it last?
As psychoanalytic psychotherapy addresses deep-seated issues, it can take some time to get an understanding of these. Psychoanalytic therapy is a two-way process, a collaboration between two people, even if it is focussed on one of them. Although it can’t offer any quick fix and can be challenging, it can also be deeply rewarding. I work with people ranging from once to three times a week. The frequency of sessions is something for discussion at an initial consultation.