Psychotherapy is the younger sister or brother of Psychoanalysis. It was developed to bring the essence of Psychoanalysis to patients in a less elaborate procedure, and it has fanned out into different approaches and psychotherapeutic «schools» throughout the history of psychotherapeutic treatment.
The one closest to Psychoanalysis is Psychoanalytic Therapy, which I practice. I tend to apply it with my patients or clients with one or two sessions per week, and we sit across from each other. Because of the greater time intervals between sessions, it is often more difficult to get at the repressed causes of problems, since everyday life reinforces repression for everyone, simply because of the outward focus of attention.
Especially with adolescents and young adults, however, I have found that they benefit well from Psychotherapy, as their character is less rigid, and they often have easier access to the unconscious parts of their psyche.
After one or two intake interviews, the patient and I decide together which way to go: classical Psychoanalysis or Psychotherapy, meaning «Psychoanalysis light».
In Psychotherapy, the same kind of cooperation applies as in Psychoanalysis: The patient speaks out what is troubling him, he voices feelings, thoughts, spontaneous associations, tells dreams, and together we try to uncover and understand the unconscious and invisible roots of problems and disorders, thus preparing the patient for new solutions in his life.
Depending on the severity of the patient’s problems and goals, Psychotherapy may take a few months, but also longer, sometimes up to two, three or four years. It may even evolve into a classical Psychoanalysis, should the patient wish to work more intensively on the causes of his problems and increase the frequency of the weekly sessions.
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy works because the unconscious causes of the patient’s difficulties and problems are detected, uncovered and overcome. Many symptoms such as depression, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behavior, sexual inhibitions and disorders, contact and relationship problems, work and learning inhibitions can be treated effectively with Psychotherapy.
However, as international psychotherapy research revealed, psychotherapy often has a less lasting effect because the patient is insufficiently trained to become his own psychotherapist or analyst (this is more effectively done in a classical analysis). Therefore, it may happen that the positive changes evaporate again, and a second or third attempt at Psychotherapy may be necessary. Some patients interrupt or stop their Psychotherapy altogether when the worst symptoms or disorders have been alleviated and their overall condition has improved, and they resume Psychotherapy with me at a later time when they feel in need of help again.
The aim of Psychotherapy is for the patient to find a way to cope with life’s stresses and strains, to overcome symptoms and to be more satisfied with work and love life. If the patient feels the need to intensify the treatment and change his personality more fundamentally, the intensification of the therapeutic cooperation in the context of a classical Psychoanalysis is the right way.
Besides individual Psychotherapy, I also offer couples and family therapy. Here, the aim is to make the unconscious entanglements and the malignant communication and relationship patterns conscious. Together, we try to find the underlying causes and work on them in order to create and establish better solutions for everyday life of couples and families, to ameliorate emotional contact and dealing with each other, to improve the emotional and sexual relationship, and in family therapy: in parenting.