Psychoanalysis was founded on the discovery that we are unconscious of the many factors that determine our emotions and behavior. Psychoanalysis is an approach to addressing emotional distress that originates from the discoveries and ideas of Sigmund Freud. Modern Psychoanalysis, however, is inclusive and makes extensive use of all subsequent theories and practices that assist with self-understanding. In making the unconscious conscious, modern psychoanalysis is a form of truth-seeking and it is a kind of truthfulness about our desires and motives that does not come easily. Psychoanalysis insists that the more honest we are with ourselves, the greater our chances of living a satisfying and fulfilling life.
In addition, the quality of the relationship between the analyst and the patient is critical. Modern psychoanalysis is built on a collaborative partnership — in the course of which the patient becomes aware of the formative aspects of their life, not simply intellectually, but emotionally — by re-experiencing them with the analyst.
Through the course of analysis, we look together beyond our troubling symptoms to understand the causes of our distress. By taking our suffering seriously, we take ourselves seriously and gain perspective and confidence in our own choices and doings. Psychoanalysis aims high and understands that by living the examined life and knowing ourselves — our unconscious —, we can achieve satisfaction in love, work and play.