Analysis offers the opportunity to engage in intensive treatment through sessions of 50 minutes each, four or five times each week. Analysts generally use a couch on which you may lie during sessions.
At first, this may feel strange. It removes the pressure of direct face-to-face contact which can be difficult and distracting. The couch allows greater freedom to express yourself and to associate with your thoughts and feelings. In turn, a deeper level of exploration and understanding is made possible by assisting you to access your ideas, recollections and feelings more freely.
Typically, the analyst will sit behind the couch and journey with you during the process of analysis. The relationship with the analyst is at the centre of our work. We can all bring into the present our previous emotional experience of others and transfer this on the analyst. This is called ‘transference’ and understanding this is a key part of our analytic work together. Of course, it takes time to adjust – and to trust – this relationship and the process within our safe analytic space.
Our psychotherapy is rooted in the exactly the same understanding of the mind as analysis. This offers an opportunity to engage in treatment sessions, each of 50 minutes, held once or twice each week when you would sit in a chair or lie on a couch.
Both analysis and psychotherapy take time if meaningful change is to be achieved. It is not easy. For us all, confronting issues about ourselves – and the defences we deploy to try and ‘get by’ – can be difficult. But analysis and psychotherapy are potentially of great value as the oppressive hold of the past and present can be understood, confronted and released.