Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy
Psychoanalysis is often called depth psychology or dynamic psychiatry as it explores the unconscious mind and vital spirit beyond rational cognition and behavior. Today there is a growing interest in psychoanalysis, and yet a great confusion about what it is. Sigmund Freud gave birth to psychoanalysis – and modern psychotherapy – a century ago. By giving voice to the domain of the “psyche” or “spirit” which had been severed from science and medicine for so long in the West, this physician was able to develop a more integrated mind-body approach to human experience and healing.
Most psychotherapies of today owe their existence to Freud’s original methods, but unlike those practicing techniques of symptom treatment, Freud and his followers – Jung, Reich, Lacan – sought more from psychoanalysis: a completely transformative process. Freud was well versed in the behavioral and biological therapies of his day, and recognized that – like similar methods of today – they only provided temporary relief with the return of new symptoms which left the underlying dissatisfaction untouched.
Part of the confusion over psychoanalysis is that it has remained a uniquely transdisciplinary field linking the domains of medicine, science, and the true art of healing. Psychoanalysis is in fact the original integrated approach to bodymind healing which bridges the gap between physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual transformation. Jung demonstrated this by linking the birth of analysis to the traditional practices of Alchemical Taoist, Zen, and Yoga Psychology as well as the origin of analytic philosophy in Ancient Greece.
Psychoanalysis is not the symptom adjustment, but the opportunity for a complete reworking of the bodymind system. It has always been “client centered” and “present oriented” – focused on the ongoing transformation of immediate experience. Dreams, fantasies, desires, fears, obsessions, and traumas are only so many opportunities for a client to reinvent their world.