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How does Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy differ from short term therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

I​ trained at St. Vincent’s University Hospital in the MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Here I developed a special interest in Trauma associated with childhood experiences and the way that various developmental experiences come to shape us in adulthood. Each experience shapes the way we come to function in our everyday conscious mental life as adults.

​Development through life It is a unique journey and in some instances the various situations we experience along the way can become problematic in our thought process. In some cases this can be seen in the manifestation of depressive episodes, anxiety and panic related disorders as well as psychotic disorders. These disorders can be expressed in the form of symptoms, which are derived in an attempt to self-protect when we detect danger or are fearful of something we may not be consciously able to make sense of. Although these symptoms can be debilitating they are a response to an attempt at fight or flight. ​

Therapies such as CBT are very successful in managing and regulating symptoms, many individuals will find a relief in a short period of time and this is very appealing as many of us in our busy day to day lives want a quick fix. However quit often one finds themselves slipping back into their old ways weeks, months or possibly a number of years after completing therapy. Why might this be? One possible explanation for this relapse can be attributed to the underlying unconscious mental processes which short term therapies cannot treat. These unconscious mental process refer to deep routed beliefs and thoughts one has about themselves which have developed over a life span and become repressed. Some of these unconscious thoughts can become negative and at times represent themselves in our conscious waking life via somatic symptoms such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy seeks to engage the client in a form of work that opens up free thought and association through language and dream association. Sessions are directed by the client and the analyst uses the presented material to formulate an overview of the issues arising. A transferential relationship guides the analyst and analysand through the sessions. This is a process which takes place over a lengthier period of time allowing the client to engage in their own thought process at a much deeper level, allowing ones self space and time to explore their desire and make changes where deemed necessary.

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