Individual Differences


Psychoanalytic Therapy:

Last updated:
22 Sep 2003


  • uncovering the unconscious

  • intellectual understanding

  • release of pent-up emotions


  • free-association

  • analysis of dreams

Therapeutic processes:

  • Resistance - either conscious or unconscious. Its occurrence usually indicates that something important is close by and that the client is about to reveal something important.

  • Transference - feelings toward the person who is at the center of the patients conflicts is transferred (displace) to the therapist. This might be love or hate. This is a defense mechanism as itís easier and less anxiety provoking to feel these emotions toward your therapist than the object of these emotions, according to Freud. When transference occurs, and it can be problematical, its interpretation becomes an important part of the therapeutic process.

  • Insight - this doesnít actually refer simply to intellectual understanding rather to the re-experiencing of the emotional reality of the repressed conflicts, memories, urges. This leads to an understanding of how these conflicts have influenced functioning and behaviour for years.