The psychoanalytic psychotherapy frame

The psychoanalytic psychotherapy online frame, Promontorio Ph.1933 by Paul Klee

The frame within which psychoanalytic psychotherapy takes place, including its boundaries and characteristics. Most of this framework is universal in that it is used in this way by psychoanalytic psychotherapists across the world.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy – Duration of therapy

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy usually lasts from between a few months (short-term psychotherapy) to a few years (long-term psychotherapy). This depends on your needs and resources, both emotional and financial. It is, however, sometimes possible that even a short number of sessions proves especially useful.

Short-term psychotherapy

Short-term psychotherapy can last from between 16 to 24 sessions, usually once a week. The psychotherapy focuses on particular issues that, in the first few sessions you and your therapist decide together to work on.

Short-term psychotherapy cannot possibly cover all of the issues that you wishe to address, nor all of the various issues that will no doubt come up during the therapy. Besides working with a particular focus however, it usually works to highlight some of these issues so that you can then address them in the future, if you so wish.

Long-term psychotherapy

Long-term psychotherapy, though also focused on particular issues that you bring, it is and feels richer, as it’s not limited by the boundaries of those issues and allows for more themes to emerge across time and be explored. It also affords you with the opportunity to explore and discover your inner world, without experiencing the anxiety of the upcoming end of therapy, such as in short-term psychotherapy.

Length of the session

The psychoanalytic session always lasts 50 minutes and sessions start and end at the agreed upon time. The initial online therapy consultation may last an extra 10 minutes or so. As the session may not start later than agreed, late arrival means the loss of part of the session, so it’s important to always be on time.

Session frequency

Session time for online counselingOnce a week psychoanalytic psychotherapy can be very useful. However, whether the frequency will be once, twice a week, or sometimes even three depends on your issues and needs. Greater frequency within the week is better in the sense that it is easier for you to remember what took place in the previous session, and to carry on from there, retaining mental and emotional closeness to both your therapist and the themes that are emerging. It thus provides a better sense of continuity, which is necessary for the work that needs to be accomplished. It’s further beneficial in that it helps you to go deeper into the issues that trouble you in a shorter period of time. Greater frequency in sessions is also useful in fostering a sense of greater safety and trust in both your therapist and the psychotherapeutic process.

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