iCliniq logo

Ask a Doctor Online Now

HomeHealth articlespsychological counsellingWhat Does Psychoanalysis Mean?

Psychoanalysis - Know Your Subconscious Mind

Verified dataVerified data

4 min read


Psychoanalysis helps to release repressed emotions and experiences. Read the article to understand more about it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi

Published At December 13, 2022
Reviewed AtJanuary 6, 2023

What Does Psychoanalysis Mean?

Psychoanalysis tells about the unconscious psychological forces within a person that is outside everyday awareness. It includes an open conversation to uncover ideas and memories in the unconscious mind to the conscious mind. The unconscious mind contains deep mental processes that cannot be readily available to the conscious mind. Psychoanalysis helps a person take control of the past influences that have developed over the years and use them as an opportunity to define their current life constructively.

Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy:

Psychoanalysis helps to strengthen a person’s relationship with their unconscious. Psychoanalysis therapy aims to release repressed emotions and experiences rooted in the unconscious mind. These may include unresolved issues during their development or trauma. It focuses on bringing the repressed conflict to consciousness and enables one to deal with it. The attempt is to restore a person’s relationship to their sexuality.

On the other hand, psychotherapy deals with what the ego that helps to make decisions in day-to-day activities. A psychotherapist attempts to restore a person’s relationship to social norms and regulations. Psychotherapists use their relationships with clients to influence their decision-making and how they relate to others.

How Does Psychoanalysis Work?

Psychoanalysis is also known as talk therapy, in which the psychoanalyst listens and discusses dreams and experiences. The theory behind psychoanalysis is based on a person’s personality, which has three functions; the id, ego, and superego. According to Freud, these develop at different stages in life.

  • Id - This is the personality component that is made up of unconscious psychic energy and distinct, and basic fundamental drives. It contains all the urges and impulses, including generalized sexual energy. It consists of all the inherited, such as biological components of personality present at birth. This response directly to basic needs urges, and desires, which later develop into ego and superego. This process of thinking is selfish and wishful.

  • Ego - This part of the personality is modified by the direct influence of the external world and is the only part of the conscious personality. This is what a person is aware of and what they would like to project to the world. It operates on satisfying the id’s demands and mediates between the unrealistic id and the real external world. The ego seeks pleasure, tries to claim credit at the end of the action, and seeks ways to obtain pleasure.

  • Superego - It is a part of the unconscious that emerges around the age of three to five. The voice of the unconscious holds the moral standards and ideals one has acquired from people. (parents and society). Superego consists of two parts such as the conscience and the ideal ego. The conscience is the inner voice that points out if one has done something wrong and makes one feel guilty, while the ego ideal gives one an imaginary picture of career aspirations.

Psychoanalysis treatment helps to relieve the tension that occurs between these three components. It is also known as talk therapy, in which the psychoanalyst listens and discusses dreams and experiences.

What Are the Different Types of Psychoanalytic Techniques?

Psychoanalysis is an attempt to involve an in-depth conversation to gain maximum insight into the person’s behavior. The objective is to understand the deep-rooted problems and generate a significant change in a person’s life. These methods may include

  • Dream Analysis - Psychoanalytic therapists view dreams as a key to revealing unconscious thoughts and feelings. They analyze symbols and imagery from the patient’s dream and discover its hidden meaning.

  • Transference Analysis - During this, the person gains insight into past experiences and the unconscious mind. Transference refers to the patient’s feelings or behavior towards the therapist, which may relate to someone in their past.

  • Interpretation - The psychoanalytic therapist correlates common themes from the patient’s stories that help explore his memories and narration. This may include interpreting body language or emotional expressions that reveal something important.

  • Free Association - Unlike the other forms, during free association, the patient is encouraged to talk freely about anything that comes to mind. This open-ended approach helps unconscious or repressed thoughts, fears, and shame to come to light.

What Conditions Can Be Treated by Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis can be used to treat conditions such as,

What Are the Benefits of Psychoanalysis?

  • It provides an empathetic and non-judgemental environment that encourages the client to reveal his feelings and actions that have led to stress and difficulties.

  • It also provides a platform for self-examination and provides continued emotional growth.

  • A psychoanalysis therapist tries to understand why a person is distressed or avoiding certain situations and explores his full range of emotions.

  • This therapy focuses on how past experiences affect the person’s present and cause psychological difficulties.

  • While the other therapies are more structured and goal-oriented, psychoanalytic therapy allows patients to talk freely about their inhibitions, fears, and fantasies.

Who Should Avoid Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is less effective in treating the following mental health conditions:


Mental health is the foundation on which a person’s entire life is built. When deciding to seek psychotherapeutic treatment, one must know the right treatment. The approach of psychoanalysis helps to manage problems by changing the way one thinks and behaves. It can be used to treat mental problems such as anxiety and depression. It helps to understand the unconscious forces that influence the current behavior. However, psychoanalytic therapy can be time-consuming and expensive. It can also make a person dependent on a therapist and demoralize the person by questioning his identity. Always talk to the doctor or therapist to determine which psychoanalytic therapy best suits the individual's needs.

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi



psychoanalysispsychological counselling
Community Banner Mobile
By subscribing, I agree to iCliniq's Terms & Privacy Policy.

Source Article ArrowMost popular articles

Ask your health query to a doctor online


*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. iCliniq privacy policy