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Psychoanalysis/Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Psychoanalytic psychotherapists and Psychoanalysts believe that the source of much of what we think, feel, experience and fear, is hidden or unconscious. These unconscious processes can maintain a person’s internal suffering and the impact of trauma, and maintain crippling emotional difficulties and unsatisfactory relationships, within the social and cultural context.

This Section includes Associations whose members are qualified psychoanalytic psychotherapists or psychoanalysts. These practitioners have completed theoretical and experiential post-graduate training, following a foundation professional qualification. They are required to undergo their own psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy as part of their training, enabling them to understand distress and symptoms, mindful of the possibilities of their own personal bias.

Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy apply theoretical and clinical knowledge acquired during the last hundred years. This knowledge continues to develop through current research and practice with individuals (children and adults), couples, families and groups.

The therapeutic relationship is the foundation for this method and requires commitment and responsibility from both therapist and patient (also known as ‘client’). The aim is to work together to make sense of the patient’s emotional life and ways of functioning. The work makes links between present and past as well as emphasising the here-and-now experience. Exploration of the conscious and unconscious aspects of the therapeutic relationship (also known as transference and counter transference) makes this work different from other therapies, or from talking to a friend.

Through non-judgemental understanding and interpretative work within the therapeutic relationship, a patient can recognise the underlying meaning of dreams, conflicts and fantasies and the way in which thoughts and feelings are expressed and resisted.

This understanding enables new choices to be made, and the fulfilment of the unique potential of the individual.

Member Associations within this Section:
Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis