Psychoanalysis differs from psychotherapy in objective and method. Psychotherapy deals with current problems. However, current issues with work, relationships and emotions may reflect deeper, long-lasting, and repetitive patterns. In psychoanalysis, we understand these issues through free association, dreams and transference. Free association allows deeper concerns to surface. Dreams may provide “the royal road” to the unconscious. Transferences of a patient’s significant relationships onto the analyst illuminates self-defeating patterns. The process of psychoanalysis puts pieces of a psychological puzzle together to create a clearer picture.
Psychoanalysts are trained to listen for personal meaning. They help patients understand and solve their problems. Patients develop new ways of coping and understand the impact of memories and feelings from the past on their present lives. This process takes a mutual commitment of time and energy.