Psychoanalysis for Anxiety

Deciding to see a therapist is a big step; and for people with anxiety, it's the first one in what can be a life-altering journey.

If you're considering therapy for anxiety, make sure that you’re seeking the right type. Even with hundreds of therapy types out there for anxiety issues alone, psychoanalysis might be worth your consideration.  

Here's how psychoanalysis can be beneficial for anxiety, when to seek treatment, and what happens in a typical session.

How psychoanalysis helps ease symptoms of anxiety

Sessions with a trained psychoanalyst are designed to help you gradually draw attention to the connection between your unconscious and the conscious.

With more knowledge about yourself and these two factors, you may observe or sense positive changes in:

Over time, the feeling of greater mastery of these areas may decrease your anxiety symptoms.

When to seek psychoanalysis for anxiety

Just like all therapy methods, there’s a time and a place for the use of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis might be best for you if:

What happens in a psychoanalytic  session for anxiety

Psychoanalytic sessions will differ for each person, since you'll discuss your own personal background in depth. But you can expect a few key elements to remain consistent:

You'll discuss your incentive for seeking therapy

When first starting with this method, the analyst will gather an understanding about what brings you to treatment.

He or she might ask questions about childhood, early development, your current thoughts, feelings, and motivations for treatment.

Not only is this a time for learning about your background and who you are, but it is also a time for the two of you to build a trusting relationship.

You will try to speak freely and openly, allowing greater access to  your unconscious

The therapist will then encourage you to try as much as possible to say whatever comes into your mind.

Without filtering what you say, you might start getting a sense of the thoughts and feelings behind your presenting problem. Any unfiltered  reactions are helpful – whether they’re reactions to life events,  a book, a bodily feeling, and also  to the therapist.

There will be a period of intentional reflection about your dialogue

After you've expressed your reactions, the therapist will ask you to reflect on what you just said.

The focus might be on the way that you feel about that reaction, how it felt to say aloud. This  increasing awareness to moments of feeling and the connected thoughts  will ultimately be helpful when you begin to look at your reactions to anxiety.

From an awareness grows mastery over old, partially hidden, perhaps non-adaptive patterns from your unconscious.

When looking for a psychoanalytic therapist, prioritize personal fit and expertise in anxiety

As with any therapy or treatment, finding the right person to support you is detrimental and can make or break your progress.

Find a therapist who:

Tapping into the unconscious is quite reasonably a difficult idea  for most of us, but finding a good therapist who will support you in productive, individualized ways will not only make you feel comfortable, but help you reach your full potential as a client of psychoanalysis.