What is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy?

Who is it for?

Everyone experiences emotional problems at some stage in their life.  These difficulties are often resolved without the need for therapy. For some people, the same kind of problem keeps coming back and their solutions have not succeeded.  Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is indicated by the government N.I.C.E. guidelines as a recommended treatment for people with recurring or more complex emotional problems. In these cases, there can be unresolved conflicts from the past that are stirring up strong feelings in the present, pushing the person concerned into self-destructive patterns. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy helps to clarify how the past is interfering with the present, thereby enabling the patient to enjoy life more fully.


It may be that you have previously sought help of a supportive nature but found your problems did not fundamentally change. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is suitable if you want to look deeper into yourself in order to make lasting changes.  


There may be strong feelings attached to current issues which you cannot fully account for and which you suspect belong to your past. It can also be that you feel empty and suspect you are repressing your emotions. You may be experiencing a loss of meaning in your life, having difficulties in your relationships or in handling the pressures of everyday living.  You may need to understand how traumatic or abusive relationships have impacted on you.  This in turn can free you to make more positive and loving relationships in the present.


Sometimes people seek help for specific reasons. Here are some of the problems which can be addressed by psychoanalytic psychotherapy:

  • Depression, emptiness or sadness
  • Anxiety and difficulties with concentrating
  • Low self esteem or lack of confidence
  • Sudden changes in mood or frequent anger
  • Difficulty in sustaining relationships
  • Repeatedly getting involved in unsatisfying relationships
  • Unresolved grief in relation to bereavement, divorce or job loss
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Sexual Problems
  • Isolation and Social shyness
  • Addictive or obsessional behaviour related to alcohol, drugs sex, internet use
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Self Harm 
  • Eating Disorders
  • Physical Symptoms and psychosomatic illness


It is when we feel unable to resolve conflict on our own that we are ready to consider seeking a therapist.


What does Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy ask from you?

People seeking psychoanalytic psychotherapy are usually those who are seeking a greater understanding of their symptoms and behaviour.  So, in order to benefit from psychoanalytic psychotherapy, you will need to have some curiosity about the struggles you are facing. This motivation is important because psychoanalytic psychotherapy can be uncomfortable as well as rewarding. There will be times that you will need to face up to feelings that you may prefer to forget or not think about.


Is there research evidence?

Yes. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is an evidence-based treatment and several studies have been completed and published showing its effectiveness. A good overview of this research is a book entitled ‘What works for whom?’ by Anthony Roth and Peter Fonagy.  A more recent  article from Scientific American published in March 2010 also offers '...the strongest evidence yet that psychodynamic psychotherapy -- "talk therapy" -- works.  In fact, it not only works, it keeps working long after the sessions stop.'  Click on the link for the story:






Anne Guildford - Fiveways
Susan Wright - Seven Dials
Howard Edmunds - Central Brighton

Other Available Therapies
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Group Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)

Code of Ethics
All Brighton Psychotherapy and Counselling practitioners are members of their professional training organisations and adhere to their respective Codes of Ethics. They are also all fully insured. They will all be eligible for inclusion on the Health Professional Council's statutory register at its introduction.

In order to make our services as accessible as possible all therapists offer a number of low-fee spaces.
© 2016 Brighton Psychotherapy and Counselling | Contact Us | Website Design by: Aniseed Media Design