How is Psychoanalysis Different From Other Kinds of Psychotherapy?

Because psychoanalysis focuses on deep change, it is different from short term therapies. Brief therapies can be quite helpful for some issues, but they are not designed to accommodate complex situations. Experiences that defy ready explanation are often beyond their reach. 

Short term therapies generally use conscious techniques, whether cognitive or behavioral, to address specific problems. They offer tools that a hurting person can apply, like a bandage over a wound. But those tools must be brought into awareness and employed every time, after the wound has appeared.

In psychoanalysis we work to change unconscious assumptions so that there is less pain and wounding, less need for bandaging in the future. Instead of causing more wounds, our deepest thoughts help us flourish. These new assumptions offer resilience. After all, when we observe resilient people we see that they adapt to most setbacks without undue distress. They have the flexibility and resourcefulness to cope effectively—even when life goes badly.

In psychoanalysis we seek more than the skills for bandaging wounds. We want you to have the resilience that helps you thrive.