POLICE WATCH INDIA(Regd. NGO).
What is Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a method of studying the mind and treating mental and emotional disorders based on revealing and investigating the role of the unconscious mind.
When people ask what psychoanalysis is, they usually want to know about treatment. As a therapy, psychoanalysis is based on the observation that individuals are often unaware of many of the factors that determine their emotions and behaviour. These unconscious factors may create unhappiness, sometimes in the form of recognizable symptoms and at other times as troubling personality traits, difficulties in work or in love relationships, or disturbances in mood and self esteem. The advice of friends and family, the reading of self help books, or even the most determined efforts of will, often fail to provide relief.
Psychoanalytic treatment demonstrates how these unconscious factors affect current relationships and patterns of behaviour, traces them back to their historical origins, shows how they have changed and developed over time, and helps the individual to deal better with the realities of life.
Psychoanalysis is an intimate partnership, in the course of which the patient becomes aware of the underlying sources of his or her difficulties not simply intellectually, but emotionally – by re-experiencing them with the analyst. Typically, the patient comes four or five times a week, lies on a couch, and attempts to say everything that comes to mind. These conditions create the analytic setting, which permits the emergence of aspects of the mind not accessible to other methods of observation. As the patient speaks, hints of the unconscious sources of current difficulties gradually begin to appear – in certain repetitive patterns of behaviour, in the subjects which the patient finds hard to talk about, in the ways the patient relates to the analyst.
The analyst helps elucidate these for the patient, who refines, corrects, rejects, and adds further thoughts and feelings. During the time that an analysis takes place, the patient wrestles with these insights, going over them again and again with the analyst and experiencing them in daily life, in fantasies, and in dreams. Patient and analyst join in efforts not only to modify crippling life patterns and remove incapacitating symptoms, but also to expand the freedom to work and to love. Eventually the patient’s life – his or her behaviour, relationships, sense of self – changes in deep and abiding ways.
Who Can Benefit from Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a highly individualized treatment, people who wish to know if they would benefit from it should seek consultation with an experienced psychoanalyst. Still, some generalizations can be made. The person best able to undergo psychoanalysis is someone who, no matter how incapacitated at the time, is basically, or potentially, a sturdy individual. This person may have already achieved important satisfactions – with friends, in marriage, in work, or through special interests and hobbies – but is nonetheless significantly impaired by long-standing symptoms: depression or anxiety, sexual incapacities, or physical symptoms without any demonstrable underlying physical cause. One person may be plagued by private rituals or compulsions or repetitive thoughts of which no one else is aware. Another may live a constricted life of isolation and loneliness, incapable of feeling close to anyone. A victim of childhood sexual abuse might suffer from an inability to trust others. Some people come to analysis because of repeated failures in work or in love, brought about not by chance but by self- destructive patterns of behaviour. Others need analysis because the way they are – their character – substantially limits their choices and their pleasures. And still others seek analysis definitively to resolve psychological problems that were only temporarily or partially resolved by other approaches.
Whatever the problem – and each is different – that a person brings to the analyst; it can be properly understood only within the context of that person’s strengths and life situation.
The Psychoanalytic Tradition
Sigmund Freud was the first psychoanalyst. Many of his insights into the human mind, which seemed so revolutionary at the turn of the century, are now widely accepted by most schools of psychological thought. Although others before and during his time had begun to recognize the role of unconscious mental activity, Freud was the preeminent pioneer in understanding its importance. Through his extensive work with patients and through his theory building, he showed that factors which influence thought and action exist outside of awareness, that unconscious conflict plays a part in determining both normal and abnormal behaviour, and that the past shapes the present. Although his ideas met with antagonism and resistance, Freud believed deeply in the value of his discoveries and rarely simplified or exaggerated them for the sake of popular acceptance. He saw that those who sought to change themselves or others must face realistic difficulties. But he also showed us that, while the dark and blind forces in human nature sometimes seem overwhelming, psychological understanding, by enlarging the realm of reason and responsibility, can make a substantial difference to troubled individuals and even to civilization as a whole.
Building on such ideas and ideals, psychoanalysis has continued to grow and develop as a general theory of human mental functioning, while always maintaining a profound respect for the uniqueness of each individual life. Ferment, change, and new ideas have enriched the field, and psychoanalytic practice has adapted and expanded. But psychoanalysts today still appreciate the persistent power of the irrational in shaping or limiting human lives, and they therefore remain skeptical of the quick cure, the deceptively easy answer, the trendy or sensationalistic. Like Freud, they believe that psychoanalysis is the strongest and most sophisticated tool for obtaining further knowledge of the mind, and that by using this knowledge for greater self-awareness, patients free themselves from incapacitating suffering, and improve their lives and deepen human relationships.
All Psychoanalysts (very few in India) are Psychologists but all Psychologists are not Psychoanalysts.
PSYCHOANALYSIS IS A VERY EFFECTIVE & POWERFUL TOOL & IF PROPERLY USED CAN BE FRUITFUL IN PREVENTING SUICIDES IN PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE DEFENCE, PARAMILITARY & POLICE FORCE. NOT ONLY THIS, IT CAN ALSO BE USED EFFECTIVELY IN CONTROLLING AGGRESSION & HOMICIDAL TENDENCIES IN PEOPLE. ANY TYPE OF PROFILING IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT THE USE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS.