The job of a psychoanalyst

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  • The job of a psychoanalyst
    • They work with people with mental health issues (e.g. OCD, phobias or anxiety).
    • There are different types of psychotherapy including - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), humanistic therapy, general counselling and hypnotherapy, but psychoanalysis is specific to Freud's ideas.
    • The psychoanalyst listens and observes, focusing on emotions that the patient shows.
    • They work with clients individually and gather both verbal and non-verbal information. After gathering the information, they then help the person to understand their emotions.
    • The analyst records the information from each session carefully.
    • They tend to work part-time, rather than full-time, and don't usually work weekends and evenings, but can do so.
    • The client usually undergoes analysis about 4 times a week, each session lasts just under an hour.
    • The analysis takes place in a quiet and comfortable room so that the patient can relax and feel able to talk freely.
    • The patient is often settled comfortably on a couch and the analyst behind them, out of sight, so as not to affect the clients flow of information,
    • Each session costs about £50, so the treatment is quite expensive.
    • Unlikely that the psychoanalyst would be available through the NHS or that funding would be available, so patients have to pay for treatment themselves.
    • During dream analysis - patient describes and talks about their dreams. The analyst uses this information such as data from free association, information from the clients background and current situation.
    • Dream analysis is not always used. Transference and Countertransference have more focus, revealing things about the client just as other methods do.
      • Transference - describes the way a client will transfer their emotions (love, hate or anger) onto the analyst - who must be prepared for this.
      • Countertransference is the word used for the way an analyst is likely, in turn, to transfer their own feelings back onto the client.
      • By recognising which emotions are being transferred onto them, they can find out what emotions are involved in any possible problems the client has.


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