The most thorough and comprehensive form of analytic therapy is psychoanalysis. It involves sessions of the same length as psychotherapy, 45-50 minutes, but with greater frequency. The increased frequency makes analysis a powerful tool in the treatment of emotional issues. One supervisor compared it to using a high-powered microscope to examine emotional issues that are harder to see and address with less frequent methods.
Analysis allows time for your authentic self to gradually unfold. The analyst-therapist team take the time to address repetitive problems in living that may not have responded to past attempts at therapy.
Analysis is more demanding than therapy in terms of time and money, although mental health professionals training to become analysts are often willing to provide low fee treatments (“the best deal in town,” an instructor used to say). But it can make a large difference for people who want and are able to look as deeply into themselves as possible. Research has shown that the benefits of both analytic therapy and of analysis can continue many years after the treatment ends.
If you would like to learn more about analysis, please click on my Resources page link for the American Psychoanalytic Association, or go to www.apsa.org. Please read the section “About Psychoanalysis.” To obtain more information about analysis with children and adolescents, please visit www.childanalysis.org, the website of the Association for Child Psychoanalysis, whose conferences I attend regularly.