What is psychoanalysis? So where does psychoanalysis come in? Where does with counselling and therapy are pretty much the same thing? What about psychoanalysis? what’s that ?
That's a great question. In a way that's where it all started with Freud in the well 1895 he started and psychoanalysis to start with there was no psychotherapy there was only psychoanalysis and what that entailed was what we might call the modern-day counselling but there's some significant things firstly it's five times a week
oh yeah Psychoanalysis is Five times a week?
Five times a week yes could you imagine that?
Oh no. How long can people spend in psychoanalysis?
Yeah a few years yeah could you afford it?
yeah that’s expensive.
I mean imagine you say in London prices 60 pounds would be very cheap 60 pounds a session first for a psychoanalyst who's done a lot of training yes say they were moderately priced.
So why is it so often then?
Well I'll come to that but just imagine you spending 500 pound a week just on you therapy. So, for a few years so and because when it when it grew up psychoanalysis basically was for rich people in Vienna
Oh that’s where Freud’s from
and I offer yeah exactly so often it was for the wives of rich businessmen and doctors and accountants. And then so there's the money aspect and the frequency and then very significantly the client is not called the client they call the patient and lies down on a couch they lie down full on with a cushion under their head and the psychoanalyst sits behind the patient so the patient can't see them.
So that’s a real thing then cause I wasn’t sure if that really happened or not or it’s just a stereotype?
No it's not the stereotype; it’s probably become what people laugh at in cartoons. You know they see in the cartoon that the psychoanalyst is writing because the the patient can't see the analyst so it doesn't know that he or she is writing that is usually he to start with doesn't see that he's writing because if this we were doing a counselling session here I wouldn't be writing away what you know I'd be we're just talking. So
Right yeah. I always thought of long couch for this room. Maybe I would lay down on it and you would the therapist.
Well this has this has another thing with the psychoanalysis this the psychoanaly that is the typical strict psychoanalyst never answers any questions doesn't say hello at the beginning and doesn't say goodbye the end. When the patient leaves silence or gap the analyst doesn't immediately start talking although that happens in therapy too but so the you can imagine a patient says what do you what are you thinking now to the analyst and then silence comes back you know and so the the patient experiences the analyst as quite remote and the idea is and I guess it's it's really you I mean I've never done this I've never had the time and money to do that not many people have and it's so it's not practiced much but I apparently it's been very successful in helping really unearth and the what you call the subconscious the subconscious fantasies you know like just as an example patients lying down and is talking about the whatever they're talking about you know they're angry uncle or something and then stops talking and says and then says are you, to the analyst this is are you still there and the analyst says nothing. Yeah and so then the patient thinks shit am I am I alone here?
Let me just check
Yeah exactly have I been abandoned this is an example because it might feel you what modern people what nowadays we use the word weird or spooky you know it might feel weird or spooky or you know plain, unsettling to be lying down thinking I think there's someone else in the room that was half an hour ago he's not talking to me you know and the idea is it it provokes a lot.
Like a trigger.
Yeah trigger yeah.
That's how it could be useful.
Looking for like abandonment issues?
Possible for example yeah it might be love you know you mean you it might be that the patients through noticing their abandonment notices the to wish for love and then might develop some kind of fantasy that the therapist loves them or the analyst loves them. So psychoanalysis is very much about exploring fantasies exploring the underworld of the client you know which can be very disturbing of course but can also bring great relief because it's the it's the stuff of that comes up in dreams you know in our subconscious. So yeah psychoanalysis so what anyway what happened was after a few decades people said well oh I want to do that but I can't afford it. You know I can't afford the time and the money. So they might say to the analyst will you will you see me three times a week okay then you know and then they might say can you see me once a week yes once a week and the analyst might say yeah okay it's better than nothing. You know so it starts to be once a week.
So you can't do it once a week. What so why is it more beneficial for five times a week?
Yes well what once a week is then not called psychoanalysis.
You're not allowed to call it psychoanalysis because it's only once a week. okay so then I'll just say a bit more about that in psychotherapy so if you've got some so we've got this is like say the 1940s 1950s 60s people going for once a week, not five times a week and you then start to get in the history of the development of therapy you start to get some differences in the way that people therapists act the way that they are so some of the some psychotherapists will carry on having the kind of manner of the psychoanalyst so they won't say hello at the start and they won't say goodbye and at the end of the session.
The client will start doing that is that what you’re saying?
No the therapist won't say goodbye.
Oh yeah because they're in a made of psychoanalysis.
I mean I’m I value psychoanalysis even its once a week so so if I am the therapist at the end of the session I’d say to you it's time to stop.
That's it Wow.
I know I look at you and then do nothing and you'd get up out of the seat and if you say goodbye I wouldn't reply and you just walk to the door.
and how to clients feel about that
Well I've done I've had that and it to start with it was I hated it. Yeah it does isn't it but it it stimulates it provokes some of those things I was talking about earlier on about those fantasies the subconscious, hidden desires and fears so I might come back next week so I thought you were really rude you know not seeing me to the door and then the therapist thinks well let's explore that you know. What the therapist doesn't do is say sorry therapist says well let's talk more about how you felt about that and then eventually the person might say well you just remind me of my grandmother that's exactly what my grandmother did.
That the point, for them to say something like that
Exactly yeah so the argument is that if I'm the therapist and I say Oh James you know it's time to or even worse you know so I'm really sorry but it's time to stop I'd never say that but if I say well it's time stop and see show you to the door I would say have a good week you know off we go. We keep it on the sort of social level and we kind of water down potentially the power of the therapeutic situation.
Wow I never knew any of that. Yeah that’s really interesting about the psychoanalysis. I didn’t know it works like that, So it feels kind of cold but I can see why they’re do it
I mean I talked to someone a friend I was talking to 25 years ago she said she saw someone who practiced like this and it was just once a week but he was he was very strict so psychoanalytical and she hated it I don't she didn't get a lot from it she I hate it I hated going and I hated him and he was awful funny thing was if I have to phone him up for some reason he was really nice on the phone but then in those sessions I hated it and he so maybe it doesn't work for everyone
and maybe some psychoanalytic practitioners are more skilled than others so anyway back to the 1960s when people were then setting up you know sitting in chairs once a week and some people being strict analytic which is what was just describing.
Another set of people which is more how I am when I practice as a psychotherapist another set of people say well it's a really cold place to come to yeah if your therapist never says hello never says goodbye and whenever you ask a question like someone might say to me as a therapist where did you go on holiday you know and I never answer I just say what are you thinking? So some clients or patients would hate that and wouldn't connect with a therapist. And some can really use it you know so so then some therapists said well we're not going to be this cold remote figure.
We're going to be more like personable.
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