Psychoanalysis is a process of discovery with a psychoanalyst which can help people to become more completely who they are, with greater freedom to make choices and so to manage their lives more effectively. It offers a way to understand and address problems through an encounter and focus with unconscious as well as conscious process within the therapeutic relationship. The process develops increasing awareness of the way the inner world is experienced as reality and forms the assumptions and repetitions behind every day behaviour.
Alone, it can feel that it is only possible to manage problems, intense anxiety and external and internal relationships by keeping awareness of the difficulties and how much conflict and disturbance they create out of mind, often in such a familiar way that it is not perceived as a partial perception. This may give some short term relief, but in the long term where familiar defences and ways of being have become rooted in misrecognition, they continue to have an important effect on feelings and behaviour, and lead to repeated destructive ways of being in personal relationships and creative life.
The Psychoanalytic approach is based on the understanding that our minds are formed in and through early experiences and responses to internal wishes and in how our present struggles in turn shape our understanding and perception of our histories and relationships, much of this working outside of our consciousness.
The relationship with the psychoanalyst develops within a structure allowing both conscious and unconscious thoughts and wishes to be expressed within the safety, privacy and confidentiality of the analytic setting. Awareness of how unconscious life and inner beliefs keeps determining our lives emerges in a live way with the psychoanalyst in a way in which they can be understood, bringing real change.