Major Assumptions of Psychoanalitic Treatment

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist, was the founder of the science of psychoanalysis. The idea behind psychoanalysis is that people are generally unaware of the the factors that determine their emotions and behaviors. Freud believed that one must make conscious these unconscious elements to achieve a healthy psychological state. In other words, one must access suppressed memories and emotions and confront them. This is a common treatment for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Psychoanalytic treatment will attempt to access repressed feelings and then demonstrate how these unconscious elements are affecting the current relationships, patterns of behaviors and emotions of the patient. The identified and previously unconscious factors will be traced back to their origins and followed, so-to-speak, throughout the person’s history and development into adulthood. This will help identify how the factors have affected the individual in each stage of life.

The major assumptions of psychoanalysis are:

psychological problems are rooted in the unconscious mind

obvious symptoms of psychological problems are caused by hidden disturbances

causes of psychological problems are caused by unresolved issues during development or repressed trauma

treatment is aimed at bringing the repressed memories and emotions to the conscious state where the patient can confront and deal with them


McLeod, Saul. (2007). Psychoanalysis. Retrieved on October 13, 2011. From .

Institute For Psychoanalytic Education. (2011). What is Psychoanalysis? Retrieved on October 13, 2011. From

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