The Relationship Between the Theory and Practice of Freud’s Psychoanalysis
This paper will explore the relationship between the theory and practice of Freud’s psychoanalysis. The paper will firstly attempt to provide a definition of psychoanalysis and its main goals. Following this, an explanation of how psychoanalysis works will be given before moving on to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this type of therapy. The paper will conclude with some general thoughts on psychoanalysis.
2. What is psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century (Freud, 1896). It is based on the idea that our lives are governed by unconscious processes (e.g., drives and instincts) that often conflict with our conscious desires (i.e., what we are aware of). These conflicts can lead to psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and phobias.
Psychoanalysis attempts to treat these problems by helping patients to become aware of their unconscious processes through a process of free association and interpretation ( Freud, 1900). This process can be difficult and often takes many years to complete.
3. Theoretical underpinnings of psychoanalysis
The theoretical underpinnings of psychoanalysis are based on Freud’s ideas about drives and instincts. According to Freud, we are born with two types of drives or instincts: the life instinct (Eros) and the death instinct (Thanatos). The life instinct is responsible for our survival instincts, such as hunger and thirst, while the death instinct is responsible for our aggressive and self-destructive impulses (Freud, 1920).
These two drives are in constant conflict with one another and it is this conflict that leads to psychological problems. For example, an individual who has strong aggressive impulses may repress them in order to avoid harming others. This repression can lead to anxiety because the individual is constantly fearing that their aggressive impulses will be unleashed.
4. The main goals of psychoanalysis
The main goals of psychoanalysis are to make the unconscious conscious and to resolve the conflicts between the life and death instincts. By doing this, it is hoped that patients will be able to lead more fulfilled lives without being hindered by psychological problems.
5. How does psychoanalysis work?
The process of psychoanalysis usually begins with a patient undergoing a thorough assessment with a psychoanalyst. During this assessment, the analyst will try to get an understanding of the patient’s history and current problem(s).
Once the assessment is complete, the analyst will then begin working with the patient using various techniques such as free association and interpretation. The aim of these techniques is to help the patient become aware of their unconscious processes so that they can begin to resolve their conflicts.
6. The practice of psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is usually practised in a one-to-one setting with a patient meeting their analyst for weekly sessions over a period of years. Each session lasts for around 50 minutes and generally costs between $100-$200 per session (Slater, 2007).
Patients are typically asked to lie on a couch during sessions so that they can relax and feel comfortable enough to talk about their thoughts and feelings openly. It is important for analysts to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for their patients.
7. The advantages of psychoanalysis
There are several advantages of psychoanalysis. Firstly, it is a very comprehensive approach that can be used to treat a wide range of psychological problems. Secondly, it can provide patients with a greater understanding of their problems and how they came to be. Finally, psychoanalysis has been found to be effective in treating patients with long-standing and complex psychological problems (Slater, 2007).
8. The disadvantages of psychoanalysis
There are also some disadvantages of psychoanalysis. Firstly, it is a very slow process that can take many years to complete. Secondly, it is a very expensive form of therapy and not all patients can afford the fees. Finally, it can be a very emotionally demanding process for both patients and analysts (Slater, 2007).
In conclusion, psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century. It is based on the idea that our lives are governed by unconscious processes that often conflict with our conscious desires. These conflicts can lead to psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and phobias. Psychoanalysis attempts to treat these problems by helping patients to become aware of their unconscious processes through a process of free association and interpretation.