Psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Why psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

To get a good picture, I would like to refer you to the website of the Flemish Association of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapists. My vision endorses the interpretation of psychotherapies. The information below comes from them.

A forty-four-year-old man feels depressed while still thinking he has everything to be happy.

A young woman says she wants to quit smoking and lights a cigarette.

A thirty-something longs for love but does not manage to commit to someone.

A secretary of thirty-eight feels guilty and responsible for everything.

A young man is afraid to take the elevator.

A man of twenty-eight is always let down, although he says he is so sweet.

A forty-year-old woman repeatedly falls on few respectful, disparaging partners.

A 30-year-old mother can hardly make decisions even about small things.

Someone is constantly doing stupid things that they regret afterwards.

A fifty-year-old manager feels driven to perform, but can not enjoy anything and relax with nothing.

A six-year-old boy can not play, but always destroys the game of others.

A twenty-one-year-old girl, very intelligent, fails to complete a first year of training.

An eight-month-old baby does not sleep in the evening since father was away from home for several weeks.

A four-year-old boy, is very happy with his new sister, but suddenly goes back to bed and has anger again.

A ten-year-old girl who lost her mommy has processed this a lot, but her school results are suddenly much less than before.

An exemplary sixteen-year-old makes a serious suicide attempt like a bolt from the blue.

A seventeen-year-old girl is keeping her single mother straight, but she is afraid of coming among the people.

A young person sooner or later feels abused and deceived by all his friends and girlfriends.

A five-month-old baby looks away when someone tries to make eye contact.

Psychoanalytic therapy is often the right treatment for misunderstood psychological suffering.

In psychoanalytic therapy, psychic suffering is understood in connection with the (also early childhood) life history in which certain patterns repeat.

Psychic suffering is also understood as a more or less conflicting interplay of inner forces.

We listen to hidden meanings and underlying patterns that underlie thoughts, feelings, behaviors.

These have developed largely in what we have made of our first contacts and relationships with meaningful others.

My own perspective is psychodynamic (Freudian-Lacanian). After a few introductory talks, we check whether we work purely analytically or that you would rather benefit from supportive therapy. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is not a directive therapy. There are no ready-made answers. Not so much because we do not want to give them but because they are not only impossible but also not really work. Moreover, we do not want to take a master position and you say what you do. We do not find this deontologically justified.
The therapist, however, supports speaking to the patient by listening actively, asking questions, formulating hypotheses and testing interpretations. An opening is created to approach the whole from a different perspective. Underlying dynamics and patterns become clearer and will actively contribute to a better understanding of one’s own desire, one’s own ‘identity’.

Important here is respect for time (your rhythm) and being (no judgment). The individual desire of each subject is central to this. Psychoanalysis appeals to us particularly in view of the thorough consideration of the history of the subject and the unconscious. Important to know is that we find that therapy not only aims to reduce symptoms, but above all strives to reduce the vulnerability and increase the psychic power through insight into itself and in his or her functioning. The effects of good therapy are therefore also noticeable in terms of social functioning, quality of life and the reduction of susceptibility to relapse.


What is psychoanalytic therapy?

Psychoanalytic therapy is essentially different from many other forms of mental health care. In psychoanalytical therapy, the patient is actively involved in the relief work, rather than being ‘treated’. He has to do it himself, but not only: the therapist goes with him the sometimes painful or difficult way, rather than giving advice or advice.

Psychoanalytic therapy is based on the rule of free association: by telling what comes into your mind, your own story unfolds, you bump into gaps or contradictions in your story or do you feel that you are blocking in your thinking and speaking. I spontaneously think of the expression ‘where the heart is full, the mouth is over’. The rule of free association reverses this way of saying: where the mouth runs over, the heart is full. According to this theory, the patient will express his or her psychological suffering through conversations (adults), free play or through visual work such as drawings or collages (children).

By listening to this and standing still, the deeper meaning of complaints or symptoms can become clear. It is also possible to think and talk about frightening, painful, guilt-laden, shameful and / or unbearable tendencies, thoughts or feelings instead of trying to get rid of them in all sorts of ways. For we often suffer from feelings that are inconceivable and unspeakable, and which are kept away from our conscious world of thought in all sorts of ways, by swallowing them up, or by coping them up, suppressing them, hiding them and denying them, in all kinds of behavior. to respond or to flee in all kinds of drugs. An essential aspect of this form of therapy is the gradual development of a bond with the therapist in which certain symptoms can be repeated. L’histoire se repète dans la thérapie as it were. The intention is to stand still in this therapeutic relationship. Positive and negative experiences related to both experiences prior to and simultaneously with the therapy is essential to achieve a thorough understanding of certain recurrent patterns and sensitivities. This band can also offer the opportunity to acquire certain positive emotional experiences and to work on this from a constructive point of view. Not only is it aimed at relief or stopping complaints or symptoms. Psychoanalytic therapy, in particular, aims to better match the inevitable frustrations and shortages that life brings.

From a lived insight one can understand and express more things of oneself. Psychoanalytic therapy promotes the ability to make conscious choices in the areas of love, relationships, work, studies or leisure.

In short, it can radically change our dealings with our inner world and outer world.

Is psychoanalytic therapy not the same (and much more expensive) than a good conversation with good friends? Psychoanalytic therapy (like any other psychotherapy) is not an accidental, improvised undertaking such as a satisfying or meaningful conversation with a family member, a friend or a neighbor.


The psychoanalytic therapist commits himself to helping man on the basis of his psychological knowledge about man and his psychic dynamics. Because the therapist thereby influences the life and well-being of his fellow human beings, he must practice his profession in an ethically responsible manner. This means that in his work he respects the value and dignity of man, as well as his personal autonomy and his right to live according to his own convictions; that he helps as much as possible to those with whom he comes into contact and does not harm their interests in any way; in particular, he will refrain from pursuing his own advantage through acts that harm others; that, in resolving conflicts between conflicting interests, he is guided primarily by his responsibility towards the person whose interest was entrusted to him professionally; this responsibility must also be determined by the whole of his professional relations, without being allowed to harm the interests entrusted to him; that he, in all his statements about what he heard directly or indirectly in his professional activity, subjects himself to the rules of professional secrecy; that he acts in the exercise of his profession in a scientifically sound manner and endeavors to increase the scientific character of his work in the broader framework of psychology; that he assures an autonomy in the choice and use of his methods and techniques.

At the Belgian Federation of Psychologists you can always obtain a copy of the code of ethics for psychologists and at the VVPT those of psychoanalyl psychotherapists. When it comes to a doctor, you can go to the Order of Physicians.