|Paul Cooper, Psychoanalyst
What is Unique about
Psychoanalysis differs from other psychotherapies in its focus, depth and method. Other
therapies help you solve particular problems. Psychoanalysis also works with specific
problems. However, they are viewed in the context of the whole person. The quest for
self knowledge is the most important key to working with emotions, mental states,
attitudes and behaviors.
Of course, the patient comes to therapy because he'or she is in some sort of emotional
pain. Initially the goal may be relief from uncomfortable feelings, frustration,
depression, anxiety, confusion, or physical pain. As the treatment unfolds and you come
to understand yourself better, you will begin to experience more freedom to live your
life as you wish, without disabling symptoms, and with more pleasure.
"I was always a very frightened person and never thought I'd have the courage
to go so deeply into my past. But, it wasn't as traumatic as I feared."
Psychoanalysis is based on the insight that our adult personalities are built on the
bedrock of early relational experiences that become internalized and form the
foundations for our adult personality and lay down the blue print for present
relationships. At any point in our development, the way our early relationships have
evolved may have caused us to get "stuck." Of course we mature and operate more or
less well enough in our day-to-day lives. However, we might also feel disappointed, hurt,
angry, confused, anxious or depressed inside. These internal feelings may make it
difficult to weather the normal tasks of everyday life. The depth aproach offered by
psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy works at the root causes of these difficulties
so that our true feelings can surface and be actualized.
This unique depth approach to mental and emotional well-being derives from the premise
that our early life experiences shape our sense of self, our perception of the world and
our relationships with others. Psychoanalysis is an invitation to dive deep into that past
to re-experience and re-examine the formative and sometimes painful experiences we
have had. In this way we can make peace with the bad aspects of our past and recover
the good experiences that might have been hidden away.