When people are troubled by intractable patterns of feelings, thoughts or behaviors that prevent full engagement in the love and work of their lives, psychoanalysis is often the most effective therapy. Psychoanalysis is based on the understanding that the factors that determine these problems are unconscious and thus require the special collaboration of the psychoanalytic endeavor. Sometimes people who have been in psychotherapy want more fundamental changes and may look to psychoanalysis for further work. Psychoanalysis is an intimate partnership with the analyst which leads the patient to a new freedom based on an awareness of the underlying sources of his or her difficulties, not simply intellectually but through the emotional conviction that only comes from re-experiencing them with the analyst and in the safety of the analytic environment.
Typically, the analytic patient comes four or five times a week, lies on a couch, and uses the method of free association, that is, attempts to say whatever comes to mind. In this setting, aspects of personality and character can emerge that are not accessible to other methods of observation. In this process, hints of the unconscious sources of current difficulties gradually appear in the form of repeated patterns of behavior, taboo subjects, and the interaction with the analyst. Together, the analyst and patient develop an understanding of the personal meanings as they speculate, refine, correct, reject and add further thoughts and feelings. Over the course of the analysis, the search slowly deepens through an examination of ongoing experience, memories, fantasies, and dreams. Through this process, the patient grows and develops in substantial and lasting ways.
The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis offers psychoanalysis at reduced fees through its clinic. For information and appointments for evaluation, call 312-922-7474.