Psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Psychoanalytical psychotherapy – the simplest definition of psychoanalytical psychotherapy I’ve ever heard is: talking treatment. Verbalizing your pain, weird fantasies, different thoughts, hidden desires and impulses. Over hundred years ago when Sigmund Freud discovered that serious mental illnesses can be cured by talking – it was a huge revolution that nobody wanted to believe. In those times people were cured by gymnastics, going for walks, going to the spa, taking herbs or primitive medicines, by hypnosis, or sometimes by chaining the disturbed person to the wall of a hospital cell. People believed that doing those things could bring relief, and then came Freud with his revolutionary method, which was simply talking and trying to discover a hidden meaning of what a suffering person says. He was trying to create a space for common thinking and understanding.

But what does it mean serious mental illnesses? In psychological jargon we talk about depressions, neuroses, personality disorders, borderline structures or low self-esteem. What is the common ground for all this disturbances – I think it is a psychic pain, that you experience. It doesn’t’ mean that psychotherapy is aimed exclusively to eliminate pain. Sometimes pain is imminent - like in grief or mourning after loss, but in many cases the pain is too big to handle or tolerate. There are moments when we are overloaded by painful experiences, moments when we feel that we are falling apart or just can’t stand it anymore. In those moments of unbearable suffering comes psychotherapy to help to manage this experience and to eliminate an excessive part of the suffering.

It happens sometimes that we don’t feel any pain, but we notice that in our lives something goes wrong. For example something troubles us, like: we can’t effectively learn, we are not able to find a satisfying job or we feel lonely and cannot establish relationships full of love and support. Sometimes others tell us that they see something going wrong in our lives. Here again – psychotherapy can help us to understand the unconscious reasons for this situation and can offer slow, but solid and inevitable change. Psychotherapy will unblock your potential and development to finally have a better life, to experience happiness in relationships and at work.

What does psychotherapy look like? It’s quite simple – it’s talking and creating a relationship between the patient and the therapist, a relationship that can be observed and analyzed. These analyses are aimed at discovering how unconscious motives affect the patient’s actual life – their relations, wellbeing and social roles.

When difficult feelings and behavior appear in the relationship with a therapist, they can be understood and accepted, named, and considered. Shared thinking of a therapist and a patient on difficult areas of patient’s life gives a possibility to understand what’s happening in the patient’s inner world. It can help to see how her or their psychological, emotional reality affects their everyday life. Consciousness, experience, insight and understanding make possible serious change in emotions, thoughts and behavior.

Of course the therapy happens in a certain psychoanalytical setting, Analytical therapists care very much about the setting which functions as a holding container to contain all of the patient’s experiences. Setting also functions as a maternal holding matrix which gives sense of security and openness to examine the patient’s own mental life. Creating the setting involves: a stable amount of sessions in a week, stable terms of session, the same environment, the same therapist who we can attach to, and last but not leas,t agreed payment for the therapy.
Rafał Milewski
Gabinet Psychterapii
ul. Dygasińskiego 48
(near Wilson Square)
01-603 Warszawa-Żoliborz
tel. 607 149 513