NEIL CHAMBERS Psychotherapist/
Therapeutic Orientation

Psychotherapies of various orientations have a lot in common, but also some key differences in philosophy which are usually mirrored in the technique. I have been trained in the psychoanalytic, sometimes called psychodynamic, tradition which has the closest links with the first ‘talk therapy’ developed by Freud over a hundred years ago. Psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy usually involves once or twice weekly sessions in which the therapist works with the client to uncover hidden (repressed/split off) aspects of his or her personality that are resulting in some sort of conflict or negative emotion that is impeding quality of life. The relationship with the therapist is key in this type of therapy.

A basic assumption in psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy is that much of what we have experienced in our lives, particularly during childhood, resides in our dynamic unconscious, that is, out of awareness, but strongly influences our actions and motivation.

Much of what we have experienced, particularly in childhood, resides out of awareness, but strongly influences our daily life.
The goal of this sort of therapy is to begin to think about things that have been stored away for years, to allow us to put together the various pieces of a life to make a coherent whole. Making what has been unconscious conscious, allows an individual to make more informed choices in his/her life and override automatic, problematic patterns.

Psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy is NOT psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a more intense therapy based on the same theoretical basis, but using a different technique. For a good description of psychoanalysis, see http://www.ottawaps.ca.

Be sure to have a look at relevant research findings that demonstrate the effectiveness of psychoanalytically oriented therapy.