Psychoanalysis is based on the Freudian school of thought that our unconscious mind contains repressed thoughts, drives, traumatic experiences, memories and unresolved childhood conflicts that influence our present thoughts and behaviors. By accessing your unconscious mind through analysis of your transference during therapy, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and why you say and do the things that you do. Besides formal psychoanalytic therapy with a therapist, you can also analyze yourself when you have free time on your hands. This is helpful to better understand your interactions and behavior, but make sure that you’re not overdoing it; too much self-analysis can potentially make you rigid if you’re always thinking about why you said this and did that. A healthy dose of analysis is the best way to go.
Proceeding With Introspection
It takes one session per week or every other week to reap the benefits from psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist. The first session is called “the dance”; I get to know you and you get to know me. The analyst is often very reserved during the dance; they are there only to observe and take in what you have to offer.
Following the first session, the analyst begins to open up to you and offer their opinions, observations or even suggestions; their words are slowly influencing your choice of topics. You still talk about what you feel like, but their responses help you navigate different routes of thought. It becomes relieving to talk about what you wish, when most of the time you don’t have someone in your life who you can be 100% open with.
But with an analyst you can be as open as you want. They are not there to judge or make fun of you; their role is to help you develop an understanding of your mental and emotional processes. They want you to become comfortable with any thought that comes through your mind; they want you to learn how to better understand yourself.
Psychoanalysis is like a breath of fresh air because the sessions help you get things off your chest (or your unconscious mind, realistically speaking). And you learn more about yourself while doing it, but at first it might not seem so apparent; especially after “the dance.”
However, over time and as days go by, you notice that your mood improves, your confidence builds up and you seem more satisfied with life in general. This is because you are unconsciously releasing knots of conflicts that you have held on to during your entire life. The psychoanalytic sessions are a platform for your unconscious mind to partake in “the dance.”
The more sessions that you attend, the more your unconscious mind will become comfortable with the analyst; this leads to a greater divulgence of unconscious information, conflicts and secrets. When you make your unconscious mind happy, you become happy! Without psychoanalysis, our mind is often separated into two entities: the unconscious portion and the conscious portion.
Rather than being oblivious to your unconscious mind and allowing it to aimlessly control your life, psychoanalysis provides an opportunity for uniting both portions of the mind and helping you become more wholesome and complete. Events in your life begin to make more sense!
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)
Switching The Light On
From the moment of your birth to present day, your mind has been working nonstop at accumulating bits and pieces of information about your life and your surroundings. You at least get to rest and sleep at night; your mind is working. It does not rest from analysis. But are you invested in analyzing your life?
Just because your unconscious mind is working in the background does not mean that you are invested in analyzing your life. You have to consciously want to learn more about yourself. It’s a fun process that anyone can tap into with a little conscious effort and drive.
So why should you even analyze your life? Analysis helps you learn more about your behavior, thought process and relationships. It dissolves rigidity and helps sprout new ways of viewing yourself in the environment; ways which you wouldn’t have had the strength to apply prior to analysis.
Life can become very repetitive; I am sure we have all experienced it. And if something is not done about it, we become vulnerable to depression. Who wants to live a repetitive life with little to no change? You essentially become so rigid that you cannot see what is happening in your periphery; you are like a deer staring into headlights.
But analysis shines light on your past and your past shines light on your present. Learning from your past can reveal much about how you presently think and act. Analysis forces you to dive into your past; without it, you probably would have never revisited certain events.
Analyzing your life requires a lot of interest, motivation and drive. This process cannot be forced. It has to come from you. And it is best to see a psychotherapist who is trained in analysis. But it first starts within: you must switch the light on and be willing to engage head on.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)