About Psychoanalysis

What Do We Mean by "Psychoanalysis"?

Psychoanalysis is both a method of treatment and a theory of mind. Psychoanalysis helps us investigate, understand and intervene with the human mind on a profound level. It can be considered both an art and a science and can be applied to help understand social, historical and world events. In this way, psychoanalysis can be compared to a philosophy of life.

Aquarium Foundation believes that contemporary psychoanalysis can contribute to raising awareness, prevention and ultimately the healing of many of today’s most troubling issues facing children and adolescents. By psychoanalytic, we embrace all methods of therapy that acknowledge the existence of an inner world at the core of human development and existence. This includes individual psychoanalytic psychotherapies (part of the larger umbrella of psychodynamic psychotherapy), as well as group and family therapies.

Child analysis has its own technique centered on play therapy, and parents are always included in the process. Adolescents in analysis bring their own world consisting of their interests: including music, video games, artwork and poetry.

Today’s parents are looking for new ways to assist their children seek lasting answers to their emotional distress, and this is where the Aquarium Foundation and more specifically psychoanalytic treatment can help. Psychoanalytic treatment is empirically evidence informed, and if made more accessible, could benefit a larger number of children and adolescents in distress.

Is Psychoanalysis Effective?

The main goal of psychoanalysis (PSA) is to gain a greater sense of inner freedom, symptom reduction, prevention of its recurrences and a more enhanced, higher quality of life even after termination. Long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy consists of working to identify and explore recurring themes and patterns in the individual’s thoughts, feelings, self-concept, relationships, and life experiences. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can achieve more rapid symptom relief. This type of therapy is conducive towards understanding not only the meaning of the symptom, but also the context of an overall picture of the person as a dynamic, growing, feeling, changing human being with conflicts, fears, anxieties and psychological defenses.

In both PSA and long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the analyst can enable the person to identify patterns, including repetitions of their past histories into the present, intergenerational transmissions of unsymbolized trauma, relationships with significant others, patterns of their behavior and more. The ultimate goal is to begin the process of working through the sources of his/her distress towards satisfaction in the areas of love, ability to work and to play.

Click here to read more about the effectiveness of these approaches including a synthesis of existing research supporting this view: Psychoanalysis Effectiveness Studies