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Psychotherapies based on analytical and depth psychology Analytical therapy methods in comparison


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The focus of analytical and deep psychological psychotherapy are unconscious experiences as the main cause of mental illness. For healing it is therefore necessary to uncover the unconscious dynamics.

From: Elke Hardegger

As of: October 8th, 2020

In "analytical psychotherapy" and in "depth psychology-based psychotherapy" an attempt is made to uncover and understand the unconscious connections and causes of a mental illness. The therapy should help to increase the joy of life, because it strengthens people in their mental health and gives them the feeling that they are not completely at the mercy of their fears and compulsions.

Conflicting experiences shape behavior and thinking

Unresolved conflicts in childhood are imprinted.

There are different methods, techniques and procedures in psychotherapy. The scientifically recognized procedures differ essentially in the theories of how a mental illness developed. In behavior therapy, the causes of development are understood as learned behavior and thinking, which can be unlearned again through targeted training. In analytical psychotherapy, on the other hand, experiences and influences in childhood play a central role, for example in the development of an anxiety disorder. Conflicts and crisis situations shape behavior and can trigger unconscious reaction patterns that become more and more solid in the course of life. An analytical or a deep psychologically founded psychotherapy will therefore not treat the symptoms and focus on them in the therapy, but try to find the causes and make people aware of the respective entanglements and unresolved conflicts. If the patient knows why he has developed fears, then in the next step in therapy he can find new ways of coping.

In search of unconscious and repressed experiences

Analytical psychotherapy developed from the classical psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud. There are now various further developments that were shaped by Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung. In general, classical analytical psychotherapy is a long-term therapy that runs over several years. The well-known setting is: the patient lies on a couch and tells what is on his mind at the moment. The therapist stays in the background and sees himself as a so-called projection surface for previous caregivers or internal conflicts of the patient. The recognition and awareness of repressed feelings and memories should set the self-healing powers in motion, feelings and actions that appear incomprehensible should be understood and changed. By consciously looking at his conflicts, the patient begins to free himself emotionally from them.

Psychotherapy based on depth psychology looks at the "here and now"

Compared to analytical psychotherapy, depth psychology-based psychotherapy focuses on psychosocial conflicts and more on the present. The aim is not so much a profound analysis of the life story, but the function of a behavior and its causes should be clarified in order to then look for solutions with the help of the therapist. A change in behavior and experience should be achieved through insights into the connections and causes of current problems.

Psychotherapies offer a protected space

Scientifically recognized psychotherapies have been examined for their effectiveness in numerous studies. According to the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists, the results even show that psychotherapies are more successful than treatments for physical illnesses. The methods and procedures are constantly being further developed and applied differently by the respective therapists. Ultimately, the success of the treatment is not only due to the type of therapy, but always also depends on the relationship and cooperation between therapist and patient. This is the only way to create a protected and trusting framework that makes it possible to address fears and problems and to bring about changes.