Psychoanalysis is a very specific form of psychological therapy which does not have the same characteristics as CBT or other psychotherapies often seen in the NHS.
Psychoanalysis is a process of cooperative discovery and empowerment between therapist and client where the client’s issues are not seen as medical, nor as conditions to “treat”. The relationship between therapist and client is professional, yet complex. The dynamic is not one of an all knowing all seeing expert “helping” or “treating” a client, but rather the therapist is a guide and “fellow traveler” on the client’s journey.
In psychoanalysis and holistic psychology the person is seen as a whole, not as a “patient” who has “conditions” to “treat”. Thus a major aspect of the work between therapist and client is on self exploration and development. Because a process of development is very personal, dynamic and fluid, assessment methods can not be easily used to identify specific outcomes. By the very nature of the work, the client often does not know exactly what they are aiming to “achieve” from the process, merely that they need to work on their personal development.
In many cases clients have been diagnosed by medical professionals as having various pathologies or conditions. Often in psychoanalysis these labels are not very helpful since the therapist works with the person, not the condition. Again, unlike the NHS models of psychotherapy, in holistic psychology and psychoanalysis we do not “treat”, nor do we “diagnose”. Where appropriate of course the client is referred to medical professionals for assistance.