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Psychoanalysis is interested in the individual and their life as a whole, including their unique history and development and how that influenced their present self.

In psychoanalysis, you would explore different aspects of your external and internal life and how those might relate to your symptoms. Based on the psychoanalytic theory the symptom (e.g., depression, panic attacks) is a sign that there is something that is not working in the psyche and/or life of an individual.

In the session you will be asked to speak freely about whatever comes to your mind, without any censorship (free association), the psychoanalyst will ask a lot of questions to help with reflection and understanding. An analyst will also give interpretations, which is their understanding of the client’s (analysand's) material. Depending on the agreement between the analyst and the analysand, the frequency of sessions is from one to five times a week, either sitting face-to-face or laying on the couch.

The goal of the treatment is to gain a better and deeper understanding of oneself and to live more freely and in line with one's true self. Since we are very complex beings, such exploration can be lengthy, so in contrast to some shorter therapies which might last for a couple of months, psychoanalytic treatments usually last in years. However, research shows that in the long run, psychoanalysis and its related psychodynamic treatments have longer-lasting effects on the overall health and functioning.

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