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Anxiety

How Early Childhood Trauma Affects Adult Mental Health: 1 Problem We Fail to Mention

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the early childhood experiences of trauma will affect adult mental health later in life. And yet, somehow, many people continue to rely primarily on pharmaceuticals and medication management to address the impact of trauma on the human mind - a physiological solution to a psychological problem. Why is that? And how do we make sense of the real impact early childhood trauma has on adult mental...


Children & Teens

12 Signs that Your Teen Needs Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Psychoanalysis has the misleading reputation of being the talking cure for the adult patient. Well, it is not. Children and adolescents can benefit greatly from early intervention and prevention through psychoanalytic work that can help prevent more serious and long-term problems in the future.

Child psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic therapists work with children (and their parents) as young as infants. Psychoanalytic technique changes depending on the age and developmental needs of each individual patient but...


General

10 Questions About Psychoanalysis You Have But Are Afraid to Ask

There are many myths floating around about psychoanalysis and you may be wondering what is true and what isn't. Not everyone wants to immerse themselves into the psychoanalytic journey of deeper understanding of oneself or the dramatic change in behavior and the improved quality of life that often comes as a result of it. Some people need much more immediate and quick solutions such as medication to stabilize mood and alleviate anxiety...


Anxiety

4 Signs You’re In An Abusive Relationship

Wondering whether you and your partner fight too much?

What's normal and what's abusive in a relationship? When we are in love, sometimes it's hard to look at our relationship with an objective eye. We tend to find excuses for past behaviors and focus on the future with a hopeful, optimistic look: "It will never happen again; this was just a mishap."

Unfortunately, when it comes to


Anxiety

The #1 Problem that Causes Severe Anxiety

One of the most common reasons why people seek out psychotherapy is because they struggle with anxiety. However, saying that someone has a problem with severe anxiety doesn't really say much about what is it that the person is really struggling with. In my practice, I work with children, adolescents and adults, who experience anxiety to one degree or another, but the anxiety itself is rarely the main problem. Please, let me explain.

The presenting complaint


Often times in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, what we call the "presenting complaint" isn't always the issue at stake in the treatment. For this reason, when I hear that a new client needs help for anxiety, I am often cautious not to take that statement at face value. As I reviewed in a previous post, from a psychoanalytic point of view "anxiety is the universal currency of affect, in a sense that every emotion can be converted into it" (Bruce Fink). So when I hear anxiety, I pretty much know that we'll have some digging to do.


General

Is Psychoanalysis Right for You?


Psychoanalysis is not for everybody. I don't mean this in a negative or exclusive kind of way but rather in an is-this-the-right-fit-for-me kind of way. There are many therapeutic approaches out there and there is no one size fits all when it comes to mental health.

But let's say you've wondered about this before: "is psychoanalysis right for me;" maybe you've tried other types of therapies but there's still something kind of missing, something was left unsaid, or unaddressed and the problem you wanted to solve persists. Maybe it's anxiety, maybe it's your mood or relationships, whatever the case may be, the issue is still there despite all your efforts to change it. How do you know if psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy is right for you?

Read along and if you find yourself identifying with some or all of the statements below, psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy is definitely the right choice for you.

You seek a deeper understanding of yourself


Anxiety

How Psychoanalysis Understands Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues encountered in clinical practice today and probably one of the most misunderstood, often neglected and minimized mental health issue. Just browse any psychotherapy website, and I bet you'll find anxiety mentioned in every single one of them. But what is anxiety to psychoanalysis? How do we understand it from a psychoanalytic point of view and what can we do to overcome it?

Anxiety defined...

Everyone experiences anxiety to a certain degree. In fact, it is well proven in the field of psychology that moderate levels of anxiety are actually beneficial and foster learning, problem-solving and productivity. However, when the anxiety becomes too high, relative to our resources and abilities to cope with stressors and changes in the environment, it becomes overwhelming and can cause one of three responses - fight, flight or freeze (I know of a very interesting Anxiety Curve Model that explains this and can be applied to various issues in adult as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy but I will save it for a future post).

Manifestations of anxiety


General

What Psychoanalysis Says about Love

When you think of psychoanalysis and love, what comes to mind? It has become a normative narrative to put psychoanalysis, Oedipus complex and sex all in the same sentence but is it all there is? Let's look at what psychoanalysis does have to say about love.

I won't give you a thorough explanation of psychoanalytic theory on sexuality and love here because frankly, this is a highly complicated issue to write about, let alone synthesize in a blog post. Instead, let's touch on a few basic concepts about the psychology of love that we learn from psychoanalytic theory and practice, that will hopefully introduce a different image of psychoanalysis for you.

Different kinds of love

First off, psychoanalysis accounts for all kinds of love - sexual love, sensual love between partners, parental love, sibling love, grandparent love, love between friends, being in love versus loving, imaginary love, impossible love, transference love, love between humans and animals, love for religion and/or ideology, love of oneself, adult love, childhood love, adolescent love... Of course not all of these are formally defined but you get my point.

What a few psychoanalysts say about love