There are a few broad misconceptions about psychoanalytic treatment worth noting:
• Psychoanalysis has been disproven and, as a result, has fallen out of favor.
In fact, recent scientific evidence has substantiated the claim that our actions can, and often are, greatly effected by factors outside our conscious awareness. In addition, there is a growing body of research that validates the effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatment.
• Analysts singularly focus on the past even though patients are plagued by present-day struggles and conflicts.
In fact, analysts attend to the past when patients appear to be living in the past rather than recognizing that their present circumstances differ from what they’d experienced when they were young. When past experiences blind individuals from recognizing new opportunities they can be helped to put the past in perspective, freeing them to see new experiences as truly new.
• Psychoanalysis is heady and not sufficiently visceral to promote change.
In fact, psychoanalysis is a profoundly deep, intimate and moving experience in which aspects of the patient’s relationship with his or her analyst plays an important role.