Mode of action
When someone speaks it becomes clear.Sigmund Freud
In analytical psychotherapy a supporting and stabilizing relationship is built up between the patient and the psychoanalyst. This makes it possible to access traumatic and hurtful experiences in one’s own biography and to understand their significance to one’s current difficulties. In this way the symptoms lose their obtrusiveness and effectiveness, becoming weaker and gradually disappearing.
Psychoanalysis aims at the recovery and lasting stabilization of the patient by giving him deeper insight into what was previously unconscious. Cure and relief by uncovering and processing unconscious conflicts “in the here and now” are the hallmark of psychoanalysis.
By gaining a deeper understanding of himself the patient becomes acquainted with his defence mechanisms which for years have protected him from facing up again to the fears and threats that he has found to be unbearable. For example, “relationship problems” can arise from the fact that we were anxious to please our parents in order to avoid punishment. Or the compulsion to help others is in many cases attributable to a lack of recognition and approval in one’s early years. One now attempts to gain this by following the path of selflessness. Another example can be the separation of one’s own parents: Since children’s emotional capacities for processing such events are still extremely limited, for many this can be an experience that is too painful and disruptive. In later life this dramatic experience can be reflected in the form of unbearable feelings of loneliness or of fears of desertion, as well as of sexual disorders.
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