What is psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is both: a theory of the human mind and a therapeutic approach. It was developed between 1885 and 1939 by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysts all over the world are involved in developing it further. Psychoanalysis has four major fields of application:

  • as a theory of the humand mind
  • as treatment for mental health problems
  • as research method
  • as a specific perspective on cultureal and social phenomena such as literature, art, movies, politics and group processes

What's the aim of psychoanalytic treatment?

Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy are useful for all who feel imprisoned in their re-occuring psychological problems. It is for all who limit their possibilies to live happy in their relationships with partners, family and friends and in their jobs or daily activities.

Anxiety, tension, inhibition, and depression are often signs of inner conflicts. They often result in difficulties in relationships with others and may negatively influence personal and professional decisions, if not treated.

Frequently, the roots of these problems are hidden. We are not consciously aware of them. Without psychotherapy, therefore, we are often unable to solve them.

In psychoanalytic treatment, patients gain insight into unconscious aspects of their problems, with the help of an expert. They get gradually access to their previously unknown inner world (thoughts, feelings, memories, dreams). This becomes possible by speaking with the analyst in a safe space, the consulting room. By doing so, patients can release their pain  and develop a sense of self which enables trust and pursuing own goals in life.

These positive effects of psychoanalysis usually persist over long periods of time, far beyond the end of the actual treatment. This in turn fosters further psychological growth.

In this little film, people - men, women, children - tell us what they think what psychoanalysis is about.