Freud lived in Austria between 1856 and 1939. He was a doctor of
medicine and neurology. His main work centred around psychological processes of
the human mind which became Psychoanalysis. His work has become the backbone of
most current psychotherapies. It should however be noted that many modern
therapies whilst based on the work of Freud have moved a considerable distance
from his original work.
Psychoanalysis's central understanding is based in the
unconscious. The work is centred around uncovering and working with the
This work looks at bringing awareness to impulses and then
changing the impulse as needed.
Our thoughts and feelings do not disappear, they are stuck or
imprinted within our minds. What is held within the unconscious affects our conscious
mind, our everyday lives, the way we feel and function in society.
Much work within Psychoanalysis focuses on the repressed self.
The things we "forget" because perhaps they are to upsetting. Hence
the saying repressed anger or love. But these repressed memories come out from
time to time in our behaviour. The term "Freudian slip" is an obvious
pointer to this unconscious becoming conscious.
Sometimes our feelings become so repressed that we consciously
deny having them, as in the example above we may be so frightened of or urge to annihilate
that we become unable to express anger. Or conversely we may get angry but
"simply" cannot consciously see our own anger. How often have you
loudly stated or heard someone say "I'M NOT ANGRY!" This could be
repressed anger! Or of course it could be an open expression of anger said in
As with most psychotherapies psychoanalysis works with
Repression, Projection, Denial, Displacement, Rationalisation, and Introjection.
These can all be forms of defence. We each have our own defence mechanisms and
the level and form they take will affect our daily lives. The level at
which they adversely affect us varies considerably.
According to Freud, as we grow up we learn to cope with life in our own individual
way. Psychoanalysis works with the id, ego, and superego.
id is the sense of self at a basic level, the
automatic part of self - animal instinct. ego is our belief
in our own power and controls how we relate to others our emotions etc. superego
is perhaps best described as our internal judge or conscience. Generally the superego
will not be in balance with the id with ego
providing the balance.
Pure psychoanalysis sessions tend to last for about 50 minutes
with sessions being between one and three times a week. The tendency towards
more than one session each week can be very expensive but is often the preferred
way of working for very busy professional people and the analysts they see. The
length of time one sees an analyst depends on the progress made, the issues that
arise and there cause. The cost of Psychoanalysis varies considerably and can
cost up to £120 per session.