What is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy  ?

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists are trained to see individuals 2 times or 3 times  weekly.  Sometimes it can be more. You may find a couch in the consulting room which is facing away from the therapist. This is a classical approach towards psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Does the therapist’s personality matter ?

Each counsellor or psychotherapist is unique and brings to the work their individuality. Some research suggests this is the most influential factor in the therapy.

Is it too costly ?

It depends from therapist to therapist. Some therapists have spent a long time training themselves and being with them can be a rich experience.  I generally discuss what is best with the client so we can agree on a fee which is suitable to both and does not cause adverse reactions in the long run.  But one must keep in mind that psychotherapy promotes stability and growth and such a commitment towards one’s thinking and issues has its own rewards.

Is it cost effective ?

*”Research has also been done into the cost-effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy, which has often been regarded as too expensive to be funded in the public sector. In fact, a study of more than 100 patients who had received at least six months’ worth of NHS psychiatric treatment without improvement, found that psychodynamic psychotherapy resulted in both significant improvements in the patients’ symptoms and value for money. Not only did the patients’ mental health improve with psychodynamic psychotherapy, but they also spent fewer days as in-patients, had fewer GP consultations, required less contact with practice nurses, needed less medication and sought less informal care from relatives. Consequently the extra cost incurred through using psychodynamic treatment was recouped within only six months”.

Research about the effectiveness of psychoanalytic psychotherapy :

Below are excerpts from recent research. For more, please go to the reference given below :

*”In 2011 researchers conducted a review of trials into the effect of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in patients with personality disorder. The review found that psychodynamic psychotherapy may be considered an effective treatment option for a range of personality disorders, producing significant and medium- to long-term improvements for a large percentage of patients.
A 2007 study investigated the effects of psychodynamic psychotherapy in panic disorder. The researchers compared the effect on patients of panic-focused psychodynamic therapy versus relaxation training. There were 49 adults in the study, and they were all diagnosed with panic disorder. Many were also suffering from agoraphobia and/or depression. The participants who received psychodynamic treatment showed a significantly greater reduction of panic symptoms than those receiving relaxation training, as well as greater improvement in psychosocial functioning (the term ‘psychosocial’ refers to an individual’s psychological state in relation to social factors).”


– *Sections in quotes are extracts from an article by Jessica Yakeley and Peter Hobson based on a research summary . You may find it on the Institute of Psychoanalysis website.