What is Psychoanalysis in Psychology?

what is psychoanalysis psychology

The sub-field of Psychology known as Psychoanalysis is most commonly associated with one of its founders, Dr. Sigmund Freud. While Freud’s theories were groundbreaking they are also considered very controversial. This controversy led to significant changes in the study and practice of psychoanalysis. The fundamentals, however, have stayed largely the same.

What are the Primary Responsibilities of a Psychoanalyst?

Psychoanalysis is a practice where the close working relationship between therapist and client helps uncover the motivation and behavior that is created by factors outside of a client’s conscious awareness. It involves a process of deep introspection that leads to psychological intervention that is based upon the relationship between the client being analyzed and professional analyst. The process of psychoanalysis occurs over an extended period of time. The “talk-therapy” used by the analyst uncovers the causes of personal distress.
 The psychoanalyst will use therapeutic techniques such as dream interpretation, translating slips of the tongue, as well as decoding fantasies and other symbolic material.

Where Do Psychoanalysts Typically Work?

Psychoanalysts can be found in hospital, long-term care and other medical facilities but they are traditionally found in a private practice setting.

What Training is Needed to Become a Psychoanalyst?

Many Psychoanalysts are psychiatrists who have earned their Medical Doctor Degree. Others are individuals who have earned a Doctoral Degree, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology. There are some psychoanalysts who are Master’s Level Psychologists or Social Workers who have completed the proper training programs in psychoanalysis.

How Much Money Can I Earn As a Psychoanalyst?

The salary of a Psychoanalyst depending most significantly upon the degree the clinician holds. A Psychiatrist typically earns around $167,610 in the United States (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Meanwhile, a Psychologist practicing psychoanalysis will typically earn around $72,540.

Are There Any Professional Organizations for Psychoanalysts?

The American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa) was founded in 1983 with the goal of creating a system to formally recognize psychologists who have met the criteria in training, assessment and practice in the specialty of psychoanalysis. The ABAPsa is a member of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP has recognized psychoanalysis as a specialty in psychology and in order to qualify for certification, psychologists must meet the specialty criteria set forth by both the ABPP and the ABAPsa.

While many individuals discount the modern practice of Psychoanalysis because of the controversial theories of Sigmund Freud, it is an effective therapeutic method for individuals with an emotional or psychiatric stressor. By forming a close-knit bond between the analyst and the client, emotional stressors that lie under the surface of consciousness can be brought to light. Only them can the stressors be treated and eliminated. Psychoanalysis in Psychology is a sub-field of psychology that has been modernized to effectively treat individuals who are living with emotional and psychological distress.