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Myths about psychoanalysis

During the revival of psychoanalysis in Russia, these myths seemed natural due to the closeness of the topic in our country. Now more than 10 years have passed since psychoanalysis came out of the underground - a huge number of books on psychoanalysis were published, psychoanalysis institutes and psychoanalysis faculties appeared in many universities, the National Federation of Psychoanalysis was established, practicing psychoanalysts appeared, conferences are held, etc. etc. However, the myths about psychoanalysis not only do not die, but all multiply and multiply. This is partly due, of course, to the heightened interest in the “new” type of psychotherapy, but it seems to me that this is not only the case. Until now, there is no high-quality academic psychoanalytic education in our country - today in Russia there is only one accredited psychoanalytic university, the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis in St. Petersburg. In addition, many myths will live regardless of the enlightenment of the public, because The reasons that support the life of these myths lie in the depths of our psyche — the very unconscious that is studied by psychoanalysis.

Myth 1. Psychoanalysis is a very long time.

Denial: At the dawn of the development of psychoanalysis, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, psychoanalytic treatment lasted on average from 6 to 8-9 months. Later, by the middle of the 20th century, the passage of psychoanalysis could take several years (from 1.5 to 5). Currently, there are many forms of therapy using classical psychoanalytic theories and techniques and taking different times:

? Orthodox psychoanalysis - 4-5 times a week for 1.5-5 years

? Psychoanalytic therapy - 2-3 times a week for 1.5-3 years

? Focus therapy - any number once a week for several months (usually from 2 months to a year)

? Psychoanalytic counseling - from several meetings to 2-3 months.

A person who wants psychoanalytic help can choose the duration of treatment depending on the goals and objectives that he sets for himself, and depending on the degree of his suffering. The duration and frequency of meetings is determined by him together with the psychoanalyst and does not necessarily constitute years of treatment.

Myth 2. Psychoanalysis is very expensive.

Disclaimer: The cost of one session with a psychoanalyst does not differ from the cost of work of any other psychotherapist and is set jointly by the patient and the psychoanalyst, depending on the possibilities of both the one and the other. In some countries, for example, in Germany, psychoanalytic assistance is included in the register of state insurance medicine services (that is, it is practically free for the patient).

Myth 3. Psychoanalysis is very painful.

Disclaimer: Any “disclosing” therapy can be painful in some way, because every person has something that he would not want to know about himself. However, this does not mean at all that the patient will have to “suffer” all the time of treatment - there are not “cheerful” sessions, sessions during which the patient receives immediate relief, as well as sessions that bring incomparable pleasure from self-knowledge and pleasure from understanding you as a different person.

Myth 4. Psychoanalysis is a sect.

Denial: This myth is very stable in our country, which has been “closed” for psychoanalysis for a long time. The myth includes two common notions of fear:

? The psychoanalyst inspires something dangerous and harmful for the patient - i.e. zombies

? Psychoanalysts are dissolute people themselves and make their patients dismissed.

The first fear has no basis, since psychoanalysis was still very far from suggestion and any other hypnotic influence at the dawn of its formation. Moreover, if the patient is prone to suggestion or to unconditional obedience to the therapist, this feature becomes the object of attention and joint research in the process of psychoanalysis. For the effectiveness of psychoanalytic assistance, it is important that the patient and the psychoanalyst be equal partners. The second fear has some basis. People who have gone through psychoanalysis feel much freer in relation to their desires. However, such an attitude towards himself has nothing to do with “permissiveness,” and all the more so with the uncontrollability of his desires. The patient has the opportunity to make a choice himself - what he wants to realize now, what later (in more suitable conditions), and what he should give up completely.

Myth 5. Psychoanalysis is “not therapy, but surgery,” and even without anesthesia.

Denial: This myth has grown out of the observation that people who have undergone psychoanalysis are changing dramatically. This is especially noticeable to the relatives and friends of the patient. For anesthesia, see the explanation for the myth of the "pain" of psychoanalysis. In addition, a long-term psychoanalysis (and noticeable changes in the patient’s personality structure occur in the orthodox version) allows the patient to approach these changes at his least painful pace.

Myth 6
The psychoanalyst as an x-ray - immediately sees through the patient.

Disclaimer: The “x-ray” vision of the psychoanalyst develops over many months of patient observation, each meeting with the patient is a discovery for the therapist. The myth has some basis because the psychoanalyst observes not only the conscious manifestations of the patient, but also his unconscious, i.e. for the fact that the patient himself does not notice for himself. However, the psychoanalytic technique is such that gradually the patient himself learns this “X-ray” vision, both in relation to himself and in relation to well-known and long-term people.

Myth 7. The psychoanalyst is always silent and never answers questions.

Disclaimer: Myth is justified by the fact that the psychoanalyst is not in a hurry to express his opinions before he is completely confident in his assumptions about the symptoms and behavior of the patient. For a long time, the psychoanalyst listens and observes. In addition, the psychoanalyst rarely shares his experiences and facts from his own life, as is customary in some other humanistic areas of psychotherapy. However, this does not mean that the psychoanalyst is always silent or never answers questions, he is simply less than other psychotherapists who manifest themselves in sessions, especially at the beginning of therapy, trying not to introduce the material of his personality into an analytical situation.

Myth 8. Naive and psychoanalyst are not compatible.

Denial: Psychoanalysts in everyday life are the same as people of any other professions - somewhat naive, somewhat stupid, once talkative, once obnoxious. Personality remains a person (see the following myth).

Myth 9. Psychoanalysis levels a person - makes everyone the same.

Denial: Psychoanalysis leads a person to himself, allows to manifest the best (for a particular person) qualities.

Myth 10. At a psychoanalytic session you need to talk: about sex, about dirty thoughts, only about the bad sides of your personality, only about problems, etc.

Denial: In psychoanalysis, there is only one "rule": "You can say everything that comes into your head." Sometimes some psychoanalysts add: "Try to speak without criticizing yourself - no matter what thoughts come to your mind - smart or stupid, funny or scary, logical or absurd."

Myth 11. Psychoanalysis is outdated.

Denial: Today, there is no more effective way of self-knowledge than psychoanalysis. Both in theory and in practice, psychoanalysis is the most adequate and least controversial system for describing a person’s mental life; it provides a method for analyzing and understanding it. First, most of the so-called new psychological techniques (from cognitive to gestalt therapy) are based on the achievements of the XIX century psychology, i.e. on the pre-Freudian theories of personality. For example, the technique of playing scenes from family life with the help of alternate actors is not much different from the catharctic method of Jean Martin Charcot (1825-1893), from whom Freud studied as a Parisian student, but later abandoned his clinical technique due to therapeutic doubtfulness and short duration effect. Today, this method, as well as a century and a half ago, gives a bright insight and a quick, but equally inconstant, result. This theatricality, of course, cannot but bribe those who participate in such productions. Secondly, it is difficult to find such a psychological direction that would not borrow concepts, conclusions or a format of work from psychoanalysis; and many of them simply present the light version, that is, a simplified model of classical psychoanalysis, aimed simply at eliminating the symptom. But not on his study. The so-called focal therapy offers a solution to a pressing problem, but does not find the reasons that caused them. This inevitably leads to the return of the symptom in a modified form. Finally, Freud's psychoanalysis is no longer obsolete in a hundred years than all the other scientific ideas of the time: the theory of relativity in physics, structuralism in linguistics and aspirin in medicine. In addition, in the treatment of phobias, hysteria and depression, Freud’s theory remains to this day the “last word of science.” Moreover, if scientific and artistic ideas became obsolete as quickly as WiFi appeared in our homes, then Bunin and Zweig, Picasso and Matisse, Mahler and Gershwin should have been sent to the archives for a long time. But this did not happen, and if the great creations of the past affect the delicate strings of the soul of a modern manager, do not greatly overestimate technical progress and be content with cheap and quickly breaking fakes.

These are the myths about psychoanalysis are the most common and tenacious.
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