So, to use the swimming metaphor, some people need an approach that helps them face and work with the fact that, at least in part, they don’t want to learn to swim. They may be frightened of moving forward or do not want to do the hard work it would take. Some might even fight to stay where they are because it suits them in some unconscious way to be drowning.
This is where psychoanalysis has something unique to offer. It offers a way to address the unconscious factors that support a person’s tendency to stay stuck in their difficulties. Freud called it the analysis of resistances.
Psychoanalysis, as a theory and treatment model, was developed to address these unconscious factors. Psychoanalysts are trained first as psychotherapists, and then they have a second training to become psychoanalysts. Think of it as training to become a specialist, like a general practitioner of medicine must have additional training to become a cardiologist. Psychoanalytic training, which is a minimum of five years long, is especially designed to help the psychoanalyst address the unconscious levels of a client’s mind so that the resistances to change lose their grip and the forces toward health, growth, and development gain strength. For people who have not been helped by psychotherapy, psychoanalysis is a model that might make a difference.