About therapy

In psychoanalysis the most important part of the work is what the patient has to say. This is what both starts a session and continues a process in which the patient's relationship with his or her world is analysed.

This could be the world of partners, family, friends, acquaintances, bosses, officials etc etc - in other words other people - or with the society and culture or cultures that he or she in habits - or indeed both.
At least part of this relationship with the world will be unconscious, evidenced by the occasional Freudian slip - ie saying one thing when you meant to say another - and at-the-time unexplainable emotional reactions.

To effectively analyse the patient's conscious and unconscious world or, more precisely, the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind/memory, there has to be a joint exploration of the meaning of thoughts, emotions, dreams - whatever appears to be reoccurring or otherwise important.

One myth about analysis that can be dispelled is the notion that the analyst has a code book - that a particular object in a dream always means X.

What an object means - if it means anything at all - will depend on what the patient has connected to it.

Again, it's what the patient says next that will allow an analysis to proceed.

Symptoms presented to talking therapists are many and varied and some conditions will require specialist therapy or medical intervention or both: a professional therapist will always recommend an alternative or complementary treatment as and if necessary.