What Is Psychoanalysis?

It began, of course, with Freud. Psychoanalysis refers both to a theory of how the mind works and a treatment modality. In recent years, both have yielded to more mainstream, research-driven approaches, but psychoanalysis is still a thriving field.

Belief in the primacy of the unconscious fantasy, sexual desires (libido, penis envy, Oedipal complex), and dreams has wavered. But Freud also identified such basic mental maneuvers as transference, projection, and defensiveness, and demonstrated how they distort our functioning. As a treatment based on extended self-exploration, psychoanalysis has evolved beyond the silent-shrink stereotype.

Neuropsychoanalysis is an up-and-coming subfield that aims to wed the insights of Freudian psychology and its emphasis on subjective experience with neuroscientific findings about brain processes.

Recent Posts on Psychoanalysis

Does Experiencing Therapy Make a Better Therapist?

The therapeutic alliance between client and therapist is affected by therapist well-being.

How Does the Law Treat Repressed Memories?

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on February 09, 2016 So Sue Me
The existence of repressed memories is a controversial topic in psychology. But how will it play out in court?

The “Airbag” of Depersonalization: Shield or Disorder?

By Elena Bezzubova on February 09, 2016 The Search for Self
The painful experience of unreality safeguards from a danger.

Robert Stolorow on Emotional Trauma and Psychoanalysis

the future of mental health interview series continues with Robert Stolorow on emotional trauma and psychoanalysis

The Worst State in the Country for LGBT Rights?

By Rebecca Coffey on January 29, 2016 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Oklahoma's legislators are currently considering 25 bills that would threaten LGBT rights. Don't they know what Sigmund Freud learned—the hard way?

The Psychoanalysis of Politicians Like Donald Trump

The study, published in the academic journal ‘Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society’, was inspired by the recent sudden emergence of a new popular right-wing movement in US politics.

Dreams Are Allegories

Self-acceptance doesn’t mean an approving attitude toward everything you do.

A Tribute to Robert Spitzer

By Allen J Frances M.D. on January 08, 2016 Saving Normal
Bob Spitzer, who recently died at age 83, was the most influential psychiatrist of his time and a pioneer in normalizing homosexuality.

9 Myths about Narcissism Almost Everyone Believes

Narcissism is one of psychology’s hot topics. Compare these 9 myths with the evidence. How many of them fooled you?

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist

Psychiatrists and psychologists are both involved in therapy, but often the general public mixes up these two professions.

Made Your New Year's Resolution? Read This

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on January 03, 2016 Full Living
If you have been making the same resolutions year after year, read this.

The Missing Piece in the Treatment of Bipolar Depression

Importance of lessening the downward pull of emotionally painful issues in relation to bipolar depression

What Is Anger? Part II

Recently, we have been investigating two of our most important innate affects, Interest (curiosity) and Anger. We explored Interest in the May-October 2015 Newsletters.

The Passing of Robert Spitzer

Estimating Spitzer’s place in history is largely a matter of assessing the impact of the DSM-3, and the revised version, DSM-3-R.

What Is Anger?

Currently, we are discussing two of our most important innate affects, interest (curiosity) and anger. In the last several newsletters, we have examined interest in some detail.

Manualized Treatment and Teaching to the Test

So-called evidence-based treatment and educational assessment drive some of the best people from the profession.


By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on December 24, 2015 Minority Report
Has the church abdicated its sacred role and responsibility to bring wholeness and healing to the realm of the private psychotherapist? It certainly looks that way.

Join the Unified Psychotherapy Movement

A new movement is emerging in psychotherapy, one that combines the major approaches and provides practitioners with a more comprehensive, holistic framework.

7 Signs of Mental Health

When reflecting on how you are faring on the journey toward mental health, check in with yourself to see if your life is trending toward these seven core capacities.

Want to Avoid Blow-Ups With Your Partner? Here's How

It’s hard to think of anything more crucial to your relationships—including the all-important one with yourself—than the awareness of what words and deeds set you and others off.

Are Psychiatric Disorders Brain Diseases?

Prominent psychiatrists declare that all mental disorders are biological diseases. Is there proof? If not, can they say it anyway?

The 12 Days of Psychotherapy

If a partridge in a pear tree is less appealing to you than gaining insight into your psyche, this new therapy-inspired Christmas carol is for you.

Demystifying Sport Concussion Baseline Testing

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on December 08, 2015 Brain Trauma
While the controversial movie "Concussion" draws attention, one important preseason test plays an important supporting role. Here's the bottom line on baseline testing.

4 Major Sources of Anxiety and What to Do About Them

Sometimes the thing to do is to accept that nothing can be done.

How Do You Find a Therapist Who Will Understand You?

How To Choose A Therapist Who Will Understand You. What are the most important factors? By Philip J. Rosenbaum, Ph.D.

10 Things About Sigmund Freud You'll Wish You Hadn't Learned

By Rebecca Coffey on December 01, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
December 3 is the 120th anniversary of Anna Freud's birth. What most people don't know is that the secrets she held threatened to shake the foundation of her father's legacy.

Pressures on Your Therapist Not to Be Psychologically-Minded

A psychologically-minded therapist is to mainstream psychology like a person practicing a forbidden religion.

Standard Interpretations in Psychotherapy

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 22, 2015 Fighting Fear
Psychotherapists who cannot think of something sensible to say sometimes make facile interpretations which do not apply to any particular patient and which are, for the most part, wrong.

'Altered Minds' Brings Modern Crises to the Big Screen

Michael Weschler’s newest film, Altered Minds, provides an over-the-top glimpse into family dynamics gone awry. One reason that family dynamics and resultant mental health issues can be so messed up these days pertains to evolutionary mismatch. Here’s how.

The Elephant in Sigmund Freud's Consulting Room

By Rebecca Coffey on November 17, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Anna Freud may be Patient Zero in the on-gong debate about gay conversion therapy.