Why choose psychoanalysis?

Warren S. Poland: My working definition of psychoanalysis is that it’s the disciplined study of whatever it is people do not want to know about themselves.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a founded upon a particular form of listening informed by the theories and practice of psychoanalysis. This kind of listening is guided by an underlying assumption that our feelings and actions are influenced by unconscious factors, to a much greater degree than we consciously admit. The initial aim is to raise awareness of the influence of these forces, then work through their significance in the safety of an authentic and professional relationship. The ultimate goal is to successfully aid the patient in overcoming the blocks that lie at the heart of their difficulties and gradually relieve them of their silent hold.

The analyst does not provide solutions to these difficulties but simply explores the subtler patterns repeated in our actions and behaviour, that so often have a damaging impact on our lives. By gradually uncovering these patterns, then working these deep seated issues through in the immediacy of this unique relationship, it becomes possible to lift the weight of our history and begin to live a much fuller life. As this awareness grows, the individual realises their symptoms are not just arbitrary but harbour a deeper significance that is quite personal to them and their life story. In time the patient experiences not only symptom relief but an inner resolve that becomes the foundation for real and lasting change.

While this form of treatment can be a long and arduous, the benefits are long lasting and can put the individual on a firmer footing for the rest of their life. Patients often say that this immense personal investment of their time, effort and money is completely worthwhile in the long term.