• Maria R. de Almeida

Benefits of Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis is a mix of science and art, embraces differences and allows creativity, makes you more open to change an alternative ideas. It frees you from prejudices and ideology.

Its vision is very innovative: According to Psychoanalysis, talent is not inherited, it is a production: every human being can be creative and smart. It is a construction. Wouldnt you like to be even more creative?

You dont need to be sick to undergo psychoanalysis and benefit from it. It is the only discipline with a unique listening for each case, for each person, it is the only discipline which does not pathologize the different. What is more: it embraces differences and see value on them. “Being different is ok”.

Main difference with Psychology and Psychiatry is that they dont take into account the unconscious, only the consciousness. On the contrary, Psychoanalysis focuses on the unconscious.

According to psychoanalysis, the unconscious is at the center of our psychic lives: the conscience is generated by the unconscious and it is misleading - like feelings and the other senses. Example: If we look at the sun, we will think it is the sun which goes around the earth but thanks to Copernicus, we know that it is in fact the Earth which goes around the sun.

Why is this so important?

This example shows how perception of reality through the eyes is equally misleading as perception of reality through consciousness (or through feelings). Unconscious is the only way to access reality but by definition … Unconscious is the knowledge unknown. We can not see the unconscious, it is no where. We can only see his effects. Proof of existence of the unconscious are the dreams, jokes, lapsus and symptoms (like insomnia, or a headache… ).

This is very interesting because even the most modern branch of the Psychology, being, Neuroscience tries to reduce the human behaviour to the brain functioning and tries to locate the psique somewhere in the brain.

Psychoanalysis is a very new science, it was born in 1900 when Freud discovered the concept of unconscious and published "The Interpretation of the Dreams". Maths began with the Pythagoreans around 2000 years ago and… thanks to it we can now go to the moon! Imagine what can be achieved with Psychoanalysis, still such a young science. How can Psychoanalysis help?

Thinking different: Becoming more creative.

How many times you can’t remember the name of a movie and 30 minutes later while doing something else… there you have the name.

Have you heard the sentence : “sleep on it!” Sometimes you have to make an importante decision, you sleep on it and when you walk up the morning after, you see everything very clear. That is because your unconscious has been working on the background. These are all examples of psychoanalytical thinking, we all have great talent on us, we are creative and smart but we have been educated in a way that we have become too rationalist. We trust what we see, our consciousness. Thanks to the example of the sun, we realise the conscience is not the right tool to read reality properly. Our education, morality, prejudices… prevent us from trusting our unconscious. Psychoanalysis can make you more creative, it helps us remove those blocks, enabling us to think different and connecting the unconsciousness to the conscience. it frees us from the bias of ideology and past experiences.

Why is it so important to have the right tool to read reality?

In our everyday life, there are two affects we need to manage otherwise… they can trouble us a lot: “Before we do something, anxiety; after we have done it, guilt and regret”.

  • Anxiety: We all have had an anxiety attack some time or have a colleague who is stressed all the time, no matter if it is Monday morning or Friday evening. It is shocking but we need to understand that anxiety is not a disease. Anxiety is necessary. However, it should not be painful nor cause any symptoms nor sufferings in the body. Anxiety warns us when we are in danger but… there are people who are stressed all the time. That is not real, we are not in danger all the time. That is a pathology. For those people who are stressed all the time, it is very difficult to manage uncertainty,. They have a very pessimistic view of life. Why? Because for them is easier to imagine that the worst think will happen than waiting to see what happens. For them, is better the certainty of the worse case scenario than waiting. Psychoanalysis can make you happier and more relax because it can help you deal with uncertainty. We all need to know how to deal with uncertainty.

  • Unconscious guilt. Why is it so important that a psychoanalyst can read, interpret the reality for us? Reality is not what it seems. What is the main cause of failure? Laziness? we are not talented enough? we are ugly, not lovable? We don’t want to be happy? You might know people (or even yourself) who try and try to progress at work, become healthier, have more friends, better family life but ...things don't go well. Main cause of failure is… fear of success. “Those wrecked by success” 1916. It sounds unbelievable, but for the human being is more difficult to tolerate success than failure. Failure is a punishment that calms down our unconscious guilt. Why do we look for punishment? Why do we have the need to be punished? From the unconscious guilt we can only see his effects: the punishment, the failure. Failure of many types: unhappy marriage, losing a job… Example: I have this so important job interview that I have been looking forward and… I get sick. You get that promotion you have been working for years and... you get depressed, you re late to work, you have fights with the team. cheat on your boyfriend and you cc him in the email. Psychoanalysis can make you more successful (in work and in relationships). It can interpret your unconscious guilt and help you become successful without suffering.

Last but not least, Psychoanalysis can make you healthier. People who are stressed, anxious and depressed get diseased. Latest data shows the big impact of mental health on chronic disease. More and more, the link is quite well know:

  • Cancer (and infections including HIV) are preceded by depression.

  • Chronic diseases (specially autoimmune) such us Irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcer and multiple sclerosis, are preceded by long periods of anxiety. More and more we hear about celebrities suffering from “strange” painful disorders. Lady Gaga, suffering from fibromyialgia, for example. There is no lesion in her body but the she suffers from unbearable chronic pain. Traditional medicine can not explain this disease but thanks to psychoanalysis we now know that the origin and underlying cause of fibromyalgia is psychic: fear to fear. The underlying structure could be hysteria. If that was the case, we can treat it and cure it.

It has been proved that all these chronic disorders have been preceded by long periods of depression and anxiety. It does not mean that because you are depressed or anxious, 100% you will develop a disease but… it does mean that if you get diseased you were suffering from depression and/or anxiety before. If you prevent or treat anxiety and depression, you protect your body from disease.

That is why Psychoanalysis is for everybody who wants to live better the years to come!

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