What is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy?
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a treatment in which the patient (or client) is encouraged, within the framework of a regular and reliable relationship, to reflect on their thoughts and feelings.
Through exploring their internal and external lives, and particularly how the relationship with the therapist reveals the influence of unconscious processes, one can gain greater insight into one's
life and freedom to cope more adaptively with difficulties.
Who can be helped by this kind of psychotherapy?
Everyone experiences emotional problems at some stage of their lives, and much of the time can tackle these challenges without outside help. However sometimes problems persist in a way which leaves one feeling repetitively stuck. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can help to understand the hidden conflicts, often founded in past relationships, that can block us from leading more fulfilling lives. Some of the issues that therapy can help with include:
Feelings of anxiety and an inability to cope.
Feelings of sadness, emptiness and depression.
Low self-esteem and confidence.
Difficulties in making and sustaining relationships, or repeatedly getting involved in destructive or unsatisfying relatinships.
Shyness and social isolation.
Dealing with losses such as bereavement, divorce or job loss.
Physical (psychosomatic) symptoms as the expression of emotional problems.
Termination or miscarriage.
The aim is to offer a consistent, private and safe space in which the patient can talk about whatever is on their mind. Strict confidentiality is therefore essential to maintain a secure boundary
within which therapeutic work can take place.
What does it cost, how long does it take?
The minimum frequency for sessions is once-weekly, in order to provide continuity for the therapeutic process. Some people may find that having two or more sessions a week enables a deeper and more fruitful contact to evolve. It is impossible to say at the outset how long therapy may take, but months rather than weeks is the general rule - it is a gradual and open-ended commitment. Ending the treatment is usually agreed between patient and therapist, although of course the patient is free to end at any point. Sometimes a briefer counselling contract is indicated, often say six to ten sessions. An initial assessment consultation will help to clarify what may be needed and to explore some of the questions that you may have.
The current full fee for sessions is £80 - if meeting more than once a week the sessional fee may be rather less. I can also see patients on a sliding scale according to means, with mid-rate fees being £40-£70 and a limited number of low-fee sessions offered at £15-£40 according to the availability of vacancies.