|Paul Cooper, Psychoanalyst
Who can Benefit from
Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic
We have many stereotyped images of people who undertake psychoanalysis: we see
them as middle-class, highlyverbal and very intellectual. In reality, anyone can benefit
from psychoanalysis, and men and women of very different social groups, personality
styles and backgrounds have chosen psychoanalysis. According to some analysts,
psychological traits that can facilitate the analytic process include:
capacity for self-reflection
desire to understand the past
reasonable level of stress tolerance
sense of wonder
curiosity about life
tolerance for vulnerability
ability to deal with painful feelings
good sense of humor
Certainly not everyone who enters psychoanalysis or psychotherapy have all of these
characteristics. In fact, many individuals only become aware of these traits after
having been involved in analysis for some period of time.
"I had completely lost my sense of humor before entering psychoanalysis. Now I can enjoy
a good laugh, especially, i can laugh at myself!"
" I no longer felt any interest in life or in my family. Psychoanalysis restored my sense of
Probably the single-most important factors that contribute to a successful outcome in
psychoanalysis is the wish to change and to take a sincere hard look at yourself.