Keep breathing! Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a dialogue. Admittedly, one in which you are doing more of the talking. This means that in the process of online psychotherapy we can talk about anything and everything you are thinking and feeling at any given moment. Hence, part of our work together is to develop this dialogue and to allow it to evolve, so that you can speak freely, openly and honestly in a framework of confidentiality and growing trust.
Free association in online psychotherapy
The most basic rule of psychoanalysis is to say during the session exactly what comes to mind, in the exact manner that it comes to mind, without changing it or making it more digestible or less offensive for you or your therapist and without judging it and censoring it in any way. Sigmund Freud called it free association. As the picture above suggests, ideally your associations should surface as freely as oxygen bubbles rise from underwater to the surface. This is not easy at all.
The most basic rule of psychoanalysis is to say exactly what comes to mind, without censoring, changing it and making it more digestible or less offensive for you or your therapist.We spend most of our time trying to work out what others can digest out of what we have to say, what they can bear, before they retaliate, break down or walk away and we lose them. In therapy, however, this is counter-productive. It’s something you have to unlearn for the duration of your sessions, if you want to make the most of them. It gets naturally easier as the level of trust between you and your therapist grows and as you become more adept at observing and following your thoughts.
By free associating, you are allowing both you and your therapist to see what is going on inside you at any and every given moment. This facilitates the process of psychotherapy because it allows for deeper exploration of your thinking and experiencing processes and lets us see how your thoughts and feelings are connected in the ‘here and now’. A great deal can be made conscious in this process.
Free association, often called, along with dreams, the road to the unconscious, is absolutely necessary for a successful therapy.
Read more on online psychotherapy:
The first session. What happens?
What does the psychotherapist do and not do?
Contact Irene Bakopoulou for more information or to book your first online therapy session.
All questions are welcome.