Psychoanalytic therapy, also known as psychodynamic therapy or insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behaviour. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour.

What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is a highly specialised treatment based on the observation that people are often unaware of the many internal factors that determine their emotions and behaviour. Because it addresses core problems as well as symptoms, psychoanalysis is a comprehensive treatment for many psychological and emotional difficulties in appropriate individuals. It enables people to become aware of inner forces that affect life and helps master those inner forces that are out of conscious control. Think of it like peeling back the layers of an onion, and with each layer the causes and significance of our symptoms become more and more evident and may eventually disappear as the client learns how to sit with, and manage their internal world.

What sort of issues can psychoanalytic psychotherapy help with?

Research shows that psychoanalytic psychotherapy is effective in the treatment of both mild and complex mental health problems, and the benefits of the therapy grow after treatment has ended. Psychoanalytical psychotherapy is suited to all individuals; adults, adolescents, and children suffering from a broad range of clinical disorders including; psychotic disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma related disorders and mood disorders such as bi-polar. In work with children, where speech is less developed, play-related activities are also used to facilitate the work of therapy. As long as the subject has the desire to enter therapeutic work and can speak for themselves they can proceed.

There are many reasons why someone might decide to see a psychoanalytical psychotherapist. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ reasons: psychoanalytical psychotherapy is an invitation to speak — not only about what worries and troubles us, but simply about the things that matter.

“Our past experiences in life shape us, but they don’t have to define us.”

What can I expect working with a psychoanalytical psychotherapist?

  • Psychoanalytic psychotherapy focuses on gaining insight into your mental health and relationships through uncovering subconscious content and through experiencing how your internal and interpersonal issues resurface in the patient-therapist transference relationship.
  • Psychoanalytic psychotherapy attends to what arises in the transference relationship, to your object relations, and to the role defence mechanisms play in your mental health and your relationships.
  • During Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy you will be sitting on a chair rather than lying on a couch.
  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy upholds to tradition of 50-minute sessions.
  • The duration of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is medium to long-term.
  • Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy is not a ‘quick fix’ but is a long-term commitment, and there is no limit on the number of sessions you may need.
Dr Hugo Gonzales

Meet Dr Gonzales

Our Director and Clinical Psychologist has extensive experience in psychoanalytic psychotherapy as a therapeutic approach to helping to understand human suffering. Dr Gonzales approach is based on an object relational perspective. Object relations therapy is a variation of psychoanalytical theory and places less emphasis on biological based drives and more importance on interpersonal relationships. Here the focus lies not in the quality of the patient’s relationship with other people, but also emotional relationships in the client’s inner world, his images and concepts of themselves and other important people in his life. Dr Gonzales’s approach hallmarks are self-reflection and self-examination, and the use of the relationship between therapist and patient as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient’s life. Its goal is not only to alleviate the most obvious symptoms but to help people lead healthier lives.

“Instead of ready-made answers or advice, I offer a safe space free from judgement, where you can learn to listen to yourself and be heard without preconceptions. By doing so, you can come to a better understanding of who you are and what prevents you from leading a richer and more fulfilling life’.

The decision to speak to a psychoanalytical psychotherapist about what worries and troubles us does not necessarily need to be the result of a life crisis. It can also be determined by a wish to understand oneself better, to understand one’s desires and values, to free oneself from problematic patterns of behaviour, to learn to better tolerate conflict and find new means of self-realisation.

To find out more information about psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical psychotherapy, see this short video below explaining it.

Our experience enables us to offer effective therapy. We are here to help you cope.