Psychoanalysis is a specialty founded on the premise that people possess unconscious motivations, thoughts, and feelings which may be recognized through psychoanalysis treatment. Psychoanalysis treatment takes place as recurring meetings where psychoanalysts converse with patients. Psychoanalysts may then provide the patient with personalized coping strategies and therapeutic exercises. Psychoanalysis can help patients achieve greater self-confidence, self-awareness, and higher quality of life. Psychoanalysis may be beneficial in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in improving patients' overall emotional or mental health. Several techniques of psychoanalysis include:
A psychoanalyst can perform one or some combination of these psychoanalytic techniques. Psychoanalysts may frequently prompt their patients to discuss their past and present experiences, relationships, dreams, and routine thoughts.
A notable feature of psychoanalysis is the couch on which patients may recline during a psychoanalysis session. While not all psychoanalysts use couches for in-person meetings, the couch is emblematic of the candor some patients find effective in psychoanalytic treatment.
Psychoanalysis may be performed with an individual patient, with a couple, or with several family members.