Psychoanalytic theory, the theory that guides psychoanalysis, was first developed by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic treatment method founded in the study of the unconscious mind. Freud believed that people could be cured of any number of mental health issues by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, which provides insights into the root of the issue. The goal of is to release pent-up or repressed emotions and memories to lead the client to catharsis, or healing. Traditionally, psychoanalysis sessions will occur 4–5 times a week, with clients lying on a couch, and the therapist (or analyst) often sitting just behind and out of sight. The client will express their thoughts, dreams and fantasies, which the analyst will examine to help the client gain powerful insights. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s psychoanalytic experts today.

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Psychoanalytic therapy focuses on understanding your are formed by both your past, and your unconscious processes. This type of therapy puts the patient at the center, and focuses on empathic atunement and listening. Through understanding who we are and how we got here, we can better understand the issues that plague us in our everyday lives. And we can learn to mourn the losses of the past and move forward, choosing a better future.

— James Nole, Counselor in Seattle, WA

After graduate school, I completed two years of advanced clinical training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis in 2015. Prior to that, I participated in the fellowship program with the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute (2010-2011) and the fellowship program with the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (2011-2013).

— Sara Todd, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology. I have advanced trainings in Jungian Therapy, known also as Analytical Psychology or Depth Psychology, with a Certification in Jungian Studies from the C. G. Jung Institute. As a second-year Psychology Intern with the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, I have over 10-hours of weekly trainings in psychoanalytic counseling from Jungian Analysts in the international and local communities.

— Rebecca Spear, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

I completed training in psychoanalysis at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center of New York in 2001. My training was eclectic and I have a contemporary relational approach.

— Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, Psychotherapist in Bethesda, MD

At Michelle Harwell Therapy, our practice is based in Psychoanalytic therapy. Psychoanalytic therapy explores the unconscious and how it is impacting the way we interact with other, have relationships, your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. We will dive into your childhood to gain a deeper understanding of why you are the way you are and through processing and meaning making, emerge with a new sense and better understanding of yourself.

— Kayla Tsongas, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Psychoanalysis has so many confusing definitions which are worsened by how unethical therapy often depicted. Psychoanalytic therapy, for me, looks at what we are aware of and digs deeper to see what you might not be aware is there, but is affecting us negatively (ex: internalized transphobia, ableism, social or family messages of our values and worth as humans). In therapy I do ask about our pasts and how they are still currently affecting us and, sometimes, how that can be harmful to our health

— Shirley Roseman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

We approach therapy through a contemporary psychoanalytic lens to understand what is being communicated through one's behaviors and understand how past experiences are influencing current relationships. As we form our relationships we have found that individuals develop deeper insight, aiding with a deeper understanding of themselves, and experiencing more lasting and sustainable relief.

— Jon Soileau, Licensed Professional Counselor in Kansas City, MO

I trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy via completing The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program at the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center in 2020. I have also been continuing to develop my psychoanalytic therapy skill set through weekly clinical consultation with several psychoanalysts since 2019 from multiple schools of psychoanalysis (relational, ego psychology, and Jungian).

— Ethan Finley, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Columbus, OH

I was introduced to modern psychoanalysis through Naropa University, and have continued to deepen with ongoing studies at The Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in Manhattan, NY.

— Grace Ballard, Sex Therapist

Clients often think if they did not suffer from major trauma then then they are just complaining because others have it much worse than they do. I believe this perpetuates the issues because you are invalidating your experiences. This is not about blame but is an exploration of how your thoughts, emotions, and feelings influence your life. We are products of our family system, some have multi-generational issues because behaviors have been passed down. You have the power to change.

— Mike Pittala, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

At Michelle Harwell Therapy, our practice is based in Psychoanalytic theory. Psychoanalytic therapy explores the unconscious and how it is impacting your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, the way you interact with others and have relationships. We will dive into your present, past and childhood to gain a deeper understanding of why you are the way you are and through processing and meaning making, emerge with a better understanding of yourself as well as new tools and skills.

— Kayla Tsongas, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

I completed a four-year full-time training in psychoanalysis at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center of New York in 2001, including Freudian, ego psychology, object relations, interpersonal, self psychology, modern, intersubjective and relational (my ultimate focus) approaches.

— Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, Psychotherapist in Bethesda, MD

Carefully listening to the conflicts and desires hidden within your story, through which we can establish new ways for you to live and thrive.

— David Brown, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Why psychodynamic/analytic therapy? The here and now psychotherapy relationship opens a stunning window into past, present, and future; into the deep wisdom of the unconscious; and into a creative flexibility that brings more and more wholesomeness, freedom, intimacy, and flourishing of the soul. I have doctoral and postdoctoral training in various contemporary analytic approaches, and I practice from a liberatory, feminist, relational stance.

— Aleisa Myles, Psychologist in Media, PA

The current versions of psychoanalytic therapy all examine how a person’s mind works and affects their view of themselves and the world they live in. One central focus is that unconscious factors affect current relationships and behaviors. Psychoanalysis changed since Freud founded it. I focus on how the ways trauma and attachment are central to understanding how the mind works and impacts current thinking, feeling, and behaving, as in my new book, Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development.

— Carl H. Shubs, Ph.D., Psychologist in Beverly Hills, CA

Psychoanalysis is an intense and life changing type of therapy that will help you get a deeper sense of who you are. Psychoanalysis will help you uncover and explore inner conflicts and coping mechanisms that are out of your awareness. This emotional knowledge will help create long- lasting personal transformation. Psychoanalysis requires a commitment of at least three sessions per week for a long term.

— Edgard Francisco Danielsen, Psychoanalyst in New York, NY

By "psychoanalytic therapy," I mean that my work is influenced by Contemporary Relational Psychoanalysis. Unfortunately, psychoanalysis has picked up somewhat of a negative reputation along the way! While I agree that many psychoanalytic concepts feel dated and don't speak to many of us, there are also many valuable ideas that are very helpful. For example, psychoanalysis has great respect for the idea that our past has an impact on our present and on our future, even though we may not remember the exact details. It also gives us tools for thinking about how our minds take in information and how we make use of it.

— Marla Cass, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA