Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy – The Basic Principles

psychoanalysis of sigmund freudPsychoanalysis comprises three elements: a method for investigating unconscious thoughts and feelings, the theory of human personality and technique of psychotherapy (treatments for depression, neurosis and other mental disorders). The methods of psychoanalysis have been developed before it was set up comprehensive theory: the theory of psychoanalysis was in the process of continuous development. The psychodynamic theory is a set of theories dealing with the processes of personal development.


Psychoanalytic theory supports:

“Human behavior is defined as intrapersonal conflict and the conflicts between individual and society. A man tries to resolve these conflicts in 2 ways: by changing himself (autoplastic changes) or his world (alloplastic changes). The aim is to adapt

to meet the needs of the pleasure and avoid pain. Consequence of attempts to resolve conflicts and adapt is the formation of certain features and functions, capabilities and domestic bans, a set of which caries from person to person. A certain degree of flexibility, comfort, ability to control your behavior and ability to cope with life’s difficulties and to build relationships with other people – these are sings of good mental health. Discomfort, tightness, insulation, rigidity and inability to control your behavior – signs of mental health disorders.”


According to this it should be said that psychoanalytic psychotherapy has four goals:

  1. to show the patient unresolved intra-psychic conflicts, rooted in the past and rise symptoms of – depression and stress – in the present;
  2.  to achieve an intense regressive transference neurosis and;
  3. to monitor and resolve the unresolved unconscious intra-psychic conflicts, and
  4. to implement design change in mental structures as a result of newfound emotional, physical and cognitive awareness of what was previously unconscious.

The cooperation of Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer gave him the opportunity to assist the work of Breuer with

“Anna O.”. While he was under hypnosis, the patient remembered the earlier repressed facts that caused the conflicts that led to the elimination of symptoms. The causes of her troubles and the fact that she was able to understand what happened to her, were the foundation of the psychoanalytic method and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

The next evolution of psychoanalytic theory has such details and so many facets that to describe it briefly will not undertake any professional psychologist. Here we can only note the milestones in its development or to name its founders. In the school of Freud, an important contribution in Sigmund Freud doctrine development was made by Sandor Ferenczi, who continued the promotion of Freud’s ideas. Anna Freud also continued the study the theory of psychological defenses of Ego which belong to Sigmund Freud.
The neo-Freud which included Alfred Adler, who developed the “individual psychology”, the psychologist Karen Horney, recognizing the importance of cultural context, Erich Fromm, who worked on the interpretation of personal development and Harry Stuck Sullivan with his psychiatry of interpersonal relations – have expanded the boundaries of psychoanalytic thought. Philosophically oriented school of depth psychology were based on Carl Jung, who described the structure of the psyche, Otto Rank, who studied an act of volition and

Alfred Adler (1870 - 1937)birth trauma and Ludwig Binswanger, who proposed the phenomenology of existential analysis. All this expanded the scope of psychoanalysis as well as the ideas about the practice of psychological counseling. Here we have mentioned not all the researchers who contributed to the development of psychoanalysis in this direction.

The dynamic psychology contains a number of high complex theoretical systems which focus on different units of analysis of the elements of communication. However, all the analytic schools find the primary cognitive processes. The therapist, providing psychological support, encourages the client to understand and to make the hidden aspects of unconsciousness. These are the conditions of the patient and therapist, seeking to explore the dark recesses of the unconscious and to understand its evolution. Psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim addressed to readers with words that reveal the ultimate objective of any psycho-dynamically oriented approach:

“I am a supporter of psychoanalysis then I consider psychotherapy through his lens. The aim of psychotherapy, according to Sigmund Freud is that with the help of free association, dream analysis helps the patient to see what’s going on in his unconscious. According to Sigmund Freud “Where was ID must be Ego”. In other words, the purpose of psychotherapy is to relieve the patient from unnecessary hardships of life and thereby help him to gain the strength necessary to cope with his inevitable love”.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Psychological Science
Subscribe to Our
Free Psychology Newsletter!

Enter your email address: