Psychotherapy Q&A

What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a form of therapy that helps you gain insight into why you think and feel the way you do. It aims to address the source of your troubling thoughts and symptoms. This means we look at both conscious and unconscious aspects of your life, so you gain understanding on what drives you, helping you to make the changes you want in your life. For this reason, psychoanalytic psychotherapy is best suited for people who are interested not just in reducing their symptoms and difficulties, but in better understanding their emotions and relationships, discovering deeper aspects of themselves, and opening up to more fulfilling ways of being and living.

How do I know psychoanalytic psychotherapy works?

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy has a strong and expanding evidence base. Key studies show that patients who have either short or long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy makes considerable improvement, long after treatment has ended. The long-term follow-up of patients after they ended psychoanalytic psychotherapy shows that:

  • Longer term psychoanalytic psychotherapy (one year’s treatment or more) is more effective than shorter forms of therapy for the treatment of complex mental disorders
  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is especially effective in the treatment of psychological disorders including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders and personality disorders such as Borderline personality disorder

Further information on the research evidence for psychoanalytic psychotherapy on the British Psychoanalytic Council Website:

How often and how long does psychoanalytic psychotherapy lasts?

Generally speaking, the more sessions you have, the more in-depth psychological work can be done. You may need more than one session per week because psychoanalytic psychotherapy aims to influence deeper layers of the personality, and the sources of the troubling thoughts and behaviour. However, this may not be possible for some people who can only manage short-term psychotherapy (under 6 months) at a once-a-week session basis.

Where appropriate, we are able to offer two to five sessions per week long-term psychotherapy (for minimum one year or more) if both your psychotherapist and you agree that it would work in your best interest.

A typical session lasts for 50 minutes long and takes place at the same time and in the same place here at our clinic for the duration of your treatment, providing a sense of continuity to our work together.

What happens at the first initial consultation?

At your initial consultation, your psychotherapist will offer you a safe and confidential space in our clinic and carefully listen to find out your psychotherapeutic needs. It will give you a chance to ask any questions you may have about your treatment and to think together with your psychotherapist if having treatment with us will be of help to you. We will also agree on the practicalities of your treatment including your fees at your initial consultation. To make your appointment, simply contact us.