What is psychoanalysis?
As a technique of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis seeks to discover connections among the unconscious components of patients‘ mental processes. The analyst‘s goal is to help liberate the patient from unexamined or unconscious barriers of transference and resistance, that is, past patterns of relating that are no longer serviceable or that inhibit freedom.
The basic method of psychoanalysis is the transference and resistance analysis of free association. The patient, in a relaxed posture, is directed to say whatever comes to mind. dreams, hopes, wishes, and fantasies are of interest, as are recollections of early family life. Generally the analyst listens, making comments when an opportunity for insight on the part of the patient arises. In listening, the analyst attempts to maintain an attitude of empathic neutrality, a nonjudgmental stance designed to create a safe environment. The analyst asks that the analysand (patient) speak with utter honesty about whatever comes to awareness while interpreting the patterns and inhibitions that appear in the patient‘s speech and other behavior.
The aim of psychoanalysis is to cure patients - to free them from maladaptive and destructive repetitions that dominate their lives and behavior. To liberate patients from recurrent emotional states means that they will have a fuller range of feelings, be more in touch with objective reality, and may be successful in love and work.