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Who is Psychoanalysis for?
Psychoanalysis is an effective treatment for many people whose difficulties range from mild to moderate to severe; this includes those who are either seeking treatment for the first time or who may have experienced unsuccessful attempts with other types of treatment or briefer therapies in the past. The psychoanalytic method recognizes that the difficulties for which potential patients seek help are often the tip of the iceberg, with deeper underlying causes that require effective mental space for their understanding and elucidation.

As analysis is a highly individualized and personal treatment, anyone wanting to know if she/he would benefit from it should first seek a consultation with an experienced psychoanalyst from the BPA. However, in our experience the person who may best be able to undergo psychoanalysis is someone who, no matter how incapacitated at the time of the assessment, is basically an individual who has some strengths and the potential for change. This person may often have already achieved important satisfactions with friends, marriage, work, or through interests and hobbies, but nonetheless feels significantly impaired by symptoms. These can be problems such as depression, anxiety, sexual incapacities, obsessions, or physical symptoms without any obvious demonstrable underlying physical cause.

Many people come to analysis because they experience a pattern of repeated failures in work, love or in their relationships. This may be due to self-destructive patterns of behaviour, or repetitive actions or experiences that they feel unable to change. Some people may feel a profound and painfully vague sense of detachment, unease and emptiness, whilst others seek analysis to resolve psychological problems that were only temporarily or partially resolved by other approaches.

Whatever the many problems a person brings to the analyst for assessment, they can only be properly understood within the context of that person's total life situation; hence, the need for a thorough evaluation to determine who will benefit and who will not from psychoanalysis. Length of treatment varies according to the individual but can last a number of years. The costs of sessions vary and are established as part of the assessment process.

Phone the BPA/BPF Office on 020 8452 9823 to contact the BPA Clinical Service.

© 2017 British Psychoanalytic Association