|Home About Psychoanalysis What is Psychoanalysis|
The question, 'What is Psychoanalysis?' is perhaps one of the most controversial questions in the profession.
While many psychoanalysts have attempted to clarify and define psychoanalysis, it seems to only elicit more questions and more attempts to explain what it is, or is not.
At the turn of the 20th century Freud had very clear definitions for psychoanalysis, the psychoanalyst and the patient. Psychoanalysis was exclusionary and narrowly conceptualized, both theoretically and clinically. A rejection or alteration on psychoanalytic ideals meant a discrediting, an excommunication, or an accusation of 'wild psychoanalysis.' The concepts of 'what psychoanalysis is' as well as 'who is a psychoanalyst' were rigidly adhered to, and only certain patients were considered 'analyzable.' The classical and traditional psychoanalytic notions of who was, how to and who to treat continued to hold true until the advent of contemporary psychoanalysis in the 1980's.
Contemporary psychoanalysis offers a more inclusionary focus in its moving to include all current psychoanalytic theories and perspectives, along with some of the more relevant concepts from classical psychoanalysis. Contemporary psychoanalysis has an interest in the person-in-relation to self and other, and the person-in-relation to social and cultural developments.
Contemporary psychoanalysis is a psychotherapy by perspective, philosophy, and politic. As contemporary analysts, our focus is centered on what is co-created between people, how we adapt to who we are and where we are, and on negotiation of self-in-relation to both inner world and outer world developments. Contemporary psychoanalysis is in redefinition as we move though the current century and incorporate ideals from Political Theory, Gender Theory, Feminist Theory, Postmodernism, Social Constructionist, Complexity Theory, Queer Theory, and others. Contemporary psychoanalysis is a freedom and an inclusionary perspective on who we are, how we work, and the people we treat.