Frequently Asked Questions About Psychoanalytic Therapy

Running a business can be stressful. Multiple aspects to it, like the sales, operations, debts, can be worrisome. Some business owners find themselves in constant discomfort while thinking about their business.

Persistent worrying and overthinking can be detrimental to the overall state of mental health. If it gets too excessive, it can, later on, develop into a mental health disorder like anxiety.

If you are regularly feeling anxious, make sure to seek a consultation with a professional. Mental health professionals can diagnose and optimize combinations of therapy approaches for their patients. 


Some of the psychotherapy techniques that help treat and manage psychological disorders include:

  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Play therapy
  • Behavior therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Humanistic therapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps with multiple psychological disorders. It works on the idea that the unconscious and childhood conflicts in the past affect the present behavior. 

Through this type of therapy, patients can freely talk about their past without judgment. The process then brings them to a state of self-awareness.

This method enables both the therapist and the client to understand the influence of experiences on the present behavior more deeply. It branched from Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical perspective. 

Since psychodynamic therapy branched from psychoanalysis, they are often used interchangeably. There are some key distinctions between the two to tell them apart easily.

1. Psychoanalytic therapy focuses on how the client’s unconscious mind affects his thoughts, feelings, and behavior—meanwhile, psychodynamic therapy zeroes on the various psychological forces that influence actions and emotions. 

2. Psychodynamic therapy is shorter and less intensive than psychoanalysis. 

3. Psychoanalytic therapy utilizes talk therapy to achieve its goals. While psychodynamic therapy has two categories based on methodology:

    • Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
    • Person-centered therapy

If you’re interested in these forms of therapy, here are some frequently-asked-questions about them:

What is psychoanalytic therapy used for?

Psychoanalytic therapy is a popular form of talk therapy. The treatment is used to gain an insight into the patient’s unconscious being and how these affect his/her emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It is said that Sigmund Freud’s ideas influence this type of therapy.

What is the psychoanalytic approach?

The psychoanalytic approach refers to delving into an individual’s unconscious mind and bringing conscious awareness to it. This approach’s perspective is that a person’s past experiences, especially childhood, heavily influence his/her behavior as an adult.

What is psychodynamic therapy used to treat?

Psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety are the most common mental illnesses treated with psychodynamic therapy.

Psychodynamic therapy is a type of psychotherapy used to help patients explore their conscious and subconscious well-being, significant impacts, and other factors.

What is an example of psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is deep-rooted in a person’s childhood experiences, contributing to his/her adult life.

An excellent example of psychoanalysis is a criminal using the same method of violence he/she may have personally encountered during as he/she was growing up.

Is psychoanalysis still practiced?

To a certain extent, psychoanalysis is still practiced in clinical settings. It has been more than 50 years since Freud developed the psychoanalytic theory.

As times have significantly changed and progressed, then so make these approaches. There are now other more famous and influential therapy methods in the market.

What are the key concepts of psychoanalytic theory?

The dynamic unconscious, conflict and compromise, defense, transference, and free association are critical concepts of psychoanalytic theory. These allow psychoanalysts to determine and represent how the minds of their clients work.

For example, the defense may refer to a patient having a barrier or a defense mechanism preventing him/her from opening up freely to his/her therapist.

Why is psychoanalysis criticized?

The approach and theory of psychoanalysis are criticized for their emphasis on childhood development. However, many modern psychologists and psychiatrists disagree.

According to them, an individual’s personality development is lifelong and is not only deeply rooted in one’s formative years.

What are the stages of psychoanalytic theory?

Sigmund Freud believes that the psychoanalytic theory is associated with the five psychosexual development stages he also created. These are oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital, respectively.

There are different stages for different pleasure sources, such as oral from the mouth, anal from the anus, etc.

Can you psychoanalyze yourself?

You cannot psychoanalyze yourself, no matter what others say. This may only fail as you may lack objectivity, awareness, and others which you need to reflect on your subconscious mind entirely. To simply put it, psychoanalyzing yourself is impossible.

What is the main goal of psychoanalysis?

Driving the unconscious mind out of hiding and into consciousness is the primary goal of psychoanalysis. Bringing awareness to unconscious things in an individual’s life allows them to reduce internal conflicts.


How long does psychoanalysis take to work?

Statistics recorded that the average treatment using psychoanalysis lasts between five to seven years. Psychoanalytic therapy is a lengthy process, and only an analysis may determine when to start or stop a client’s sessions.

What disorders does psychoanalysis treat?

Some disorders psychoanalysis treats are often psychological, such as depression, anxiety, and identity disorders. Sexual problems, psychosomatic disorders, and other self-destructive behaviors are also treated using this approach.

What is an example of psychodynamic therapy?

An excellent example of psychodynamic therapy is a therapist or analyst helping a patient with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as hand washing or nail-biting.

These are actions often attributed to childhood traumas, and the individual may not notice he/she has been obsessively making the gestures.

What happens in a psychodynamic session?

In a psychodynamic session, both the conscious and subconscious minds of a person are explored. The therapist will help the patient recognize patterns of emotions and thoughts that may be destructive, rather than focusing on behavior, through a series of significant questions.

How long does psychodynamic therapy last?

Two years is the average time a psychodynamic therapy lasts. Although in some cases, it may be longer. It is recommended that a patient schedule a once-a-week meeting with his/her therapist, and each session should be at least an hour long.


In summary, psychoanalytic therapy and psychodynamic therapy are distinct approaches.

Psychoanalytic therapy helps with psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety, and identity disorders. It employs talk therapy to gain insight into the patient’s unconscious landscape. Through this, they analyze how it influences their emotions, thoughts, and behavior. 

To carry this out, practitioners employ various concepts of psychoanalytic theory. They use dynamic consciousness, conflict and compromise, defense mechanisms, and free association. This therapy makes use of Sigmund Freud’s ideas on psychoanalytic theory.

It links to Freud’s five psychosexual development stages: oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital. Each step associates with different sources of pleasure, like oral from the mouth. 

On average, psychoanalytic treatment lasts between five to seven years. Although it has a long duration, it can be shorter, depending on the practitioner’s analysis. 

One prevailing criticism of psychoanalytic therapy is its limited focus to formative years. Critiques argue that an individual’s personality developments are lifelong and do not solely root in early childhood development. 

In contrast, psychodynamic therapy refers to delving into both the client’s conscious and subconscious well-being. It also works by understanding the various factors and their impacts.

Its foundation relies on psychoanalytic concepts. This approach helps with psychological disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

This therapy aims to identify harmful thoughts and emotional patterns instead of focusing on behavior. This approach lasts relatively shorter than psychoanalytic therapy: 2 years by average. It is also less intensive than psychoanalytic treatment. 

Psychoanalytic therapy and psychodynamic therapy are one of the many effective treatments for various psychological ailments.

If you are experiencing challenges in your mental health, make sure to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you figure out which psychotherapy approach is best for you. Remember, your mental health is as important as the other aspects of your well-being.

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