Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Therapy


Psychoanalysis is the study of unconscious motivations behind our daily behavior, thoughts, and beliefs. 

This method of therapy examines how our life experiences have been internalized and have shaped our attitudes about ourselves, those around us, and the decisions we make. 

Psychoanalysis focuses on the psychological causes of our emotional suffering, and the repressed root events that have molded us subconsciously over the years. 

By uncovering our underlying motivations through self-reflection, we can begin to identify our experiences and develop a more meaningful and empowered approach to our daily lives. 

Psychoanalytic therapy is effective for a wide range of mental health struggles, including anxiety, panic and stress disorders, self destructive behavior patterns, personality disorders, depression, and even some physical conditions. 

It can illuminate why we struggle in relationships by looking at repetitive patterns and beliefs that underpin these behaviors from childhood memories and/or trauma. 

Psychoanalysis is a way of developing deeper awareness that enables us to make new and different choices when we are faced with difficult decisions rather than repeating the same old patterns that keep us stuck.

Our trained therapists will work with you to figure out the problematic relational and social patterns that may be negatively affecting your relationships with others.

Through psychoanalysis, we will help you transform your negative patterns and discover greater freedom, peace, and empowerment. 

One study reported that 77% of patient’s reported improvement in their quality of life, interpersonal problems, wellbeing, and mental health after participating in psychoanalytic therapy.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Psychoanalysis can be a longer process than a behavioral approach as it seeks to understand the motivations that underlie our behaviors––going beyond the superficial symptoms and focusing on the root causes.

This helps to shape our attitudes toward the present and future, and integrate this new way of being into our daily lives, creating a greater sense of hope, peace, and fulfillment.

Whatever issues you struggle with, we are prepared to help you get to the underlying roots of your struggles and begin to transform the destructive, unconscious patterns that are keeping you stuck. 

Our therapists are trained in the latest forms of psychoanalysis and will be able to apply the most cutting-edge methods to your unique situation.

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Psychoanalytic Techniques

Psychoanalysis uses many helpful techniques.

One of them is known as free association. 

How does it work?

Your therapist will say a word and you will say whatever first comes to mind.

Although the words may seem random to you, our therapists are trained in uncovering patterns behind the words that you choose.

Your words can show underlying thoughts and behaviors that you are not consciously aware of. 

Dream analysis also taps into repressed symbols and thoughts that may take root in our unconscious and affect us without knowing it!

Transference is yet another tool that examines the relationships during your childhood and links together how they translate to your adult relationships.

For example, how your parents treated you as a child can have a significant impact on your current relationships.

Ever hear of the common phenomenon of people choosing a partner that is similar to their parent?

Well, that’s exactly how transference comes into play.

Our therapists are also trained to recognize when you get overwhelmed by the release of painful and repressed feelings. 

Once you are able to manage your emotions and face them without a filter, you can begin the process of healing.  

In our work together, we analyze the ways in which our culture, experiences, and families of origin have helped to shape us, and how this shaping has caused difficulties for us in our current life experiences.

We will begin to see that the defense mechanisms that may have once worked for us no longer serve us in our daily lives, but hinder us from living the life we really want. 

Traditional psychoanalysts may want to see patients multiple times per week and adopt a “blank slate” approach that allows the client and therapist to observe the projections that arise in response to the therapists.

Modern psychoanalysts may use a different format and incorporate other modalities into the treatment or adopt a more open demeanor when approaching clients. 

Psychodynamic Therapy is a modern offshoot of traditional psychoanalysis that utilizes many of the same principles but with slightly different tools and techniques. 

See our dedicated Psychodynamic Therapy page to learn more. 

Research-based, personalized therapy.

At My LA Therapy, our warm and experienced therapists specialize in anxiety, depression, trauma, & relationships.


Ours Therapy Methods

Therapy can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize your anxiety, identify and changing underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and providing you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.

See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process. 

Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing a wide range of mental health and relational issues.

Learn more about our other empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 


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At My LA Therapy, our highly-vetted Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic experts are selected not only for their clinical acumen but for who they are.

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