What Is Psychotherapy? It is a form of help that aims at discovering what conflicts lie buried in the unconscious mind that are causing us to keep repeating unhelpful patterns of behaviour in the present. By definition, what is unconscious is unknown to us, so how do we access it? We use two main techniques - free association and dream analysis.
The first consists of talking off the top of your head, no matter how irrelevant, nasty or silly it might seem. From this a theme gradually develops which the therapist will reflect back to you. With the second we encourage you to keep a dream diary, noting down first thing on waking what dreams can be recalled and any thoughts/feelings that occur to you. Freud called dreams the "royal road" to the unconscious. In my experience dreams are a direct message from the unconscious mind in symbolic form, which with the help of a therapist can be interpreted and made clear.
What Conditions Can it Help? Nearly all emotional distress can be helped, such as stress, low self-esteem, depression, bereavement, failing relationships, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosomatic disorders, 2nd generation holocaust survivors, survivors of sexual/ physical abuse, facing one's own mortality and many more.
What Benefits can be Expected? You will probably feel lighter in mood after a few weeks of therapy because of the beneficial effect of having someone to listen to you in a non-judgemental way. As the therapy progresses it will go deeper into your unconscious mind and bring to light hidden conflicts which are affecting your quality of life. As the work continues the understandings gained will become consolidated and the effects will broaden out into your everyday life and relationships with others.