Psychoanalysis addresses itself to the needs of nearly all human beings, though it has an entirely different purpose for each one separately. That is to say, it concerns the broader public that has the capacity to appreciate the existence of an unknown part in them. Most people negotiate that side of themselves outside Psychoanalysis having a healthy interest for the arts, society, sports as well as all those human activities which have an unconscious aspect in them. Other people having experienced intense anxiety, depression, delusional thinking, obsessional repetitiveness, psychosomatic problems and other symptoms, they attempt to overcome them through personal psychoanalysis.
Duration of Psychoanalysis
Personal analysis according to Freud should not have a minimum or maximum time of duration and neither should it be extended beyond the necessary time. However, his patients were under analysis for much shorter periods than today. With today’s criteria those analyses would be considered very inadequate. All contemporary research findings indicate that analyses last for much longer. In any case, personal analysis would be considered to have come to a successful conclusion only after neurotic defenses or splitting processes have been addressed and overcome so that the Oedipus complex with all its ramifications has been resolved.
Acceptance of Psychoanalysis
It is understandable that psychoanalysis could never have been a popular approach to human problems, considering that by definition it deals with the most unpleasant side of human existence. Consequently, the psychoanalyst would never be amazed neither be fearful when his/her work is been accused or undervalued in order for his patient to avoid his true nevertheless unpleasant interpretation and conclusions that inevitably come to surface during analysis. On other occasions the psychoanalyst’s work will be idealized and admired when the analyst becomes very important to his patient or when the later experiences great difficulty to express his hostility towards him. The doubt that is often mentioned in relation to psychoanalysis has mostly an unconscious origin. This was known to Freud as well as to every contemporary psychoanalyst and it will most likely be present in the future. In reality, psychoanalysis will never seize to be the place of comfort of all those who are faced with psychological problems.
The Effectiveness of Psychoanalysis
The effectiveness of psychoanalysis in treating patients is considerably high as long as the “setting”, the principles that apply in addressing interpretations and the appreciation of meta-psychological issues are present according to the spirit and the letter of the founder of psychoanalysis and other psychoanalysts. The above preconditions are very often voided in a minor or major way.
Classical psychoanalysis is a process which for an external observer seems to be a very simple one. Basically, it consists in a situation during which the patient allows himself to free associate and express his feeling being laid on a couch with the analyst behind him. The analyst intervenes from time to time only verbally. The frequency of psychoanalytical sessions varies between three and six weekly meetings of 50 minutes duration each with steady days and hours.
Today beyond “classical psychoanalysis” a number of different approaches are defined “psychoanalytical”. From this point of view the theoretical and clinical positions of a number of recognized “Psychoanalytical Schools” defers diametrically among hemselves although attempts are always been made for mutual understanding. Usually the outcome of these attempts is the compromise between psychoanalytical schools of thought so that a medium position of agreement comes to place. All psychoanalytical schools are no doubt founded on a partial usage of Freud’s theoretical, technical or clinical descriptions. With the exception of classical psychoanalysis none of them deals in a systematic way with Freudian “meta-psychology” and some psychoanalytical orientations exclude “meta-psychology” all together. According to classical psychoanalysis the field of “meta-psychology” imposes the biggest difficulties although clinically is the most informative part of psychoanalytical knowledge.
The main Psychoanalytical Schools of today are the following ones:
‘Object Relations Psychoanalysis’
‘Independent School of Psychoanalysis’
‘British School of Psychoanalysis’
New psychoanalytical schools are created following current social needs and human progress.