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“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in other ways”.

Sigmund Freud

Psychoanalysis is characterized by a close working partnership between therapist and client. Clients learn about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship. While psychoanalysis is closely identified with Sigmund Freud, it has been extended and modified since his early formulations. He believed that negative behaviour patterns were determined by unconscious processes. The goal of psychoanalysis is to understand the unconscious processes and conflicts that may be influencing one’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Freud suggested that our early experiences, such as childhood trauma, parental relationships, and early sexual development, may shape our personalities and contribute to unconscious conflict in adulthood. Often, these contribute to or cause painful emotions which may exist out with our conscious awareness. Psychoanalysis focuses primarily on the influence of unconscious forces such as repressed impulses, internal conflicts, and childhood traumas on the individual. Psychoanalysis focuses on changing problematic behaviours, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their unconscious meanings and motivations. Freud developed the concept of ego which consisted of three parts, the Id, Ego and Superego. These needed to be well-balanced to produce reasonable mental health. 

Psychoanalysis deals with conditions such as: chronic depression, anxiety disorders, somatic disorders, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorders, eating disorders.