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What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is a method employed either by psychologists or psychotherapists to find out the root causes of a person's present actions or behavior. They do this by conducting sessions in which they allow their patients to recall life-altering situations. This is a process more commonly referred to as free association. This information together with other observations will then be used by psychoanalysis experts to help them develop a practical course of treatment for some types of mental illnesses or irrational fears or other self-limiting inhibitions.
Dr. Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis. He based his argument on his theory that most of our present actions and behaviors are actually products of previous traumas to the mind. He theorized that the human mind was more complicated than what people thought. It this complexity of the mind that causes a man to create thoughts that are not socially acceptable or make risky decisions. Freud sought to help patients deal with traumatic memories in a setting where they feel safe and comfortable. By doing this, he is also able to comprehend their present difficulties.
Many modern experts consider the talking cure aspect of Freud's methods to be a very useful tool. In today's psychoanalysis sessions, patients are encouraged to talk about their experiences and innermost thoughts with a qualified psychotherapist. It is the responsibility of the therapist to direct the conversation towards a particular conflict of thought.
With psychoanalysis a person can cure himself if he is able to remember a distressing experience and find out how it is relevant to his current condition.  For instance, a person who is experiencing extreme social anxiety may have gone through a very humiliating incident when he was still a child. So understanding how this relates to his present condition may help him overcome his fears.