How psychoanalytic psychotherapy differs from other therapies
One of the most important aspects of psychoanalytic psychotherapy is that it takes into account the unconscious, with all its strange workings, defenses, processes etc. This is also the main ingredient which differentiates it from other kinds of psychotherapies, such as systemic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural psychotherapy (CBT), humanistic and various other types of psychological support.
It is often said within psychoanalytic psychotherapy circles that anything in our behaviour that cannot be explained by reason, can be explained by the existence of the unconscious, which does not function within the boundaries of ethics and morality and knows no logic, time or space. This is obvious in our dreams, where time and space have no boundaries and where we are able to commit acts that we might not even dare to think of in our waking life.
A basic tenet of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, therefore, is that in order to understand the inner workings of the mind, it is necessary to understand our unconscious as an aspect of our psyche that has an impact on our feelings, thoughts, perceptions and behaviour. It is through this understanding that one gains greater control of one’s inner world and mind and becomes more capable of dealing with the challenges that life presents in the ‘here and now’. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is, in effect, a valuable tool for finding and creating meaning.