Will there be a lot of focus on my past?
Though much of the work tends to focus on what is going on in a client’s current life, it is generally during one’s childhood, when interacting with parents (or other primary caregivers) that fundamental organising patterns were first developed and internalised.
These patterns lie outside of conscious awareness as they organise our social perceptions and reactions and thus continue to affect all of our social relationships, especially those most important to us. These organising patterns direct the action behind the scenes in our relationships with spouses, children, co-workers, various authority figures, and with the therapist.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy opens space for and usually results in growth of new and healthier internalised organising structures that will largely displace the older, unhealthy ones, thus enabling us to build less conflictual and more lasting relationships.
Toward making a client’s experience in therapy one that will foster maximum emotional growth, the intention is to relate in an authentic and empathic manner. When appropriate, the therapist will share feelings and insights with the client and in turn the client is encouraged to become more empathic, vulnerable, and authentic, first with the therapist and then with everybody else in their lives.
Most often, a client’s life is truly transformed. Clients find greater intimacy in their relationships and increased gratification in virtually every phase of their lives.