What is Psychoanalysis ?
Psychoanalysis is a talking cure that takes the unconscious into account. It involves discussing patterns of behaviour, ideas, families, relationships, memories, fantasies, dreams and significant events, with the hope of helping people understand something about what brought them to where they are today. It provides a space in which to explore difficult thoughts and feelings — things it may be extremely hard to find an outlet for in the rest of your life. The emphasis is on listening to people rather than dishing out standardised advice or instructions. While some treatments set out to remove symptoms as quickly as possible, psychoanalysis aims to give you time to think more deeply about the causes of your unhappiness, and to build your own unique solutions.
How long would I have to go for?
Psychoanalysis is an open-ended treatment. You go for as long as it seems necessary to you to go. It's usually a good idea to discuss and prepare the ending with your analyst, but there are no contracts and you are free to stop at any point.
What is the difference between psychoanalysis and therapy or counselling?
Given the enormous number of very different therapies it's a difficult question to answer quickly! Analysts are unlikely to dictate certain courses of action. Instead the idea is to explore the material the person brings and to try to help them build their own solutions.
Are psychoanalysts anti-trans?
Unfortunately, some are, but there's absolutely no inherent reason why they should be. For those of us who came to psychoanalysis via queer theory it's incomprehensible that some of our colleagues should invest in normative, essentialist, biological ideas of gender. Many of us consider it a fundamental tenet of our work that gender and sexual orientation are hard won and particular to each person. You find these ideas in Freud, albeit alongside his many well-known clangers. (The Dora case...the inferiority of clitoral orgasm...penis envy...,oh dear...)
If you're thinking of starting analysis and this stuff matters you, don't be afraid to ask direct questions in your initial sessions. And PLEASE don't be put off altogether! If you need a hand with finding a non-transphobic therapist, feel free to send an email.
How long is a session?
Sessions can last up to fifty minutes.
How many times a week would I go for sessions?
Between once and five times.
If you would like to make an appointment for an initial consultation, please call or text my assistant, Anna Maconochie on 07947 672 163. Alternatively, please email her at email@example.com or use the link on the Contact page.