Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a method which helps people assess emotions, thoughts, beliefs and early-life experiences to gain insight into their lives and their recurrent patterns of thought and behaviour. The aim is to understand and change complex, deep-seated and often unconscious emotional problems to reduce symptoms and alleviate distress. The more meaningful, in-depth relationship established in the therapeutic setting between client and therapist can enable the exploration of more complex and intimate issues.
Psychoanalysis can help with serious psychological disorders and can benefit people who experience a loss of meaning in their lives. It can be sought because of underlying feelings of depression, anxiety, dread or dissatisfaction, produce real and lasting positive change, and offer the possibility of a richer and more fulfilling life.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can contribute significantly to people’s mental and physical health and their sense of wellbeing. As the Institute of Psychoanalysis explain at length, researchers in eminent psychological, psychiatric and medical journals have demonstrated good evidence for the positive effects of psychoanalytic therapies for various psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders.
The portland practice offers short term and ongoing individual therapy usually for 50 minutes once a week or more.
Group Analysis brings the social and the interpersonal into the therapeutic setting, combining psychoanalytic insight with a consideration of group dynamics. The relationship between the individual and the rest of the group is a central focus and can lead to a stronger sense of self and a healthier integration of the individual with their community and their social networks. The therapy was developed out of a recognition of the fact that human beings are essentially social creatures whose emotions, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours are inextricably linked with our social environment and our networks of human relationships.
Interaction between group members is often the focus of therapeutic treatment, so that developing an appreciation of group interactions becomes a way of understanding the self. Mutual confidence and support develops amongst the group, encouraging individuals to share and collectively reflect on their feelings and experiences. People can benefit greatly from participating in the therapy of other group members, and are able to develop a perspective on their own patterns of behaviour from others within the therapeutic setting.
It is beneficial to have the involvement of a variety of people with diverse concerns within Group Analysis, and can be recommended for issues such as anxiety, depression, bereavement, interpersonal difficulties or low self-esteem. The aim is to move individuals forward within a social environment, and is often undergone in conjunction with individual psychotherapy.
The portland practice offers weekly and twice weekly therapy groups of an hour and a half with up to 8 group members.