1. A method of psychotherapy, originated by Freud, designed to bring preconscious and unconscious material to consciousness primarily through the analysis of transference and resistance. SYN: psychoanalytic therapy. SEE ALSO: freudian p.. 2. A method of investigating the human mind and psychologic functioning, interpretations of resistances, and the patient's emotional reactions to the analyst plus use of free association and dream analysis in the psychoanalytic situation. 3. An integrated body of observations and theories on personality development, motivation, and behavior. 4. An institutionalized school of psychotherapy, as in jungian or freudian p.. [psycho- + analysis]
- active p. an older term for p. in which the analyst intervenes directly and actively in the patient's life, e.g., by making prohibitions, assigning tasks.
- adlerian p. SYN: individual psychology.
- freudian p. the theory and practice of p. and psychotherapy as developed by Freud, based on: 1) his theory of personality, which postulates that psychic life is made up of instinctual and socially acquired forces, or the id, the ego, and the superego, each of which must constantly accommodate to the other; 2) his discovery that the free-association technique of verbalizing for the analyst all thoughts without censoring any of them is the therapeutic tactic that reveals the areas of conflict within a patient's personality; and 3) that the vehicle for gaining this insight and next, on this basis, readjusting one's personality is the learning a patient does in first developing a stormy emotional bond with the analyst (transference relationship) and next successfully breaking this bond.
- jungian p. the theory of psychopathology and the practice of psychotherapy, according to the principles of Jung, which utilizes a system of psychology and psychotherapy emphasizing the human being's symbolic nature, and differs from freudian p. especially in placing less significance upon instinctual (sexual) urges. SYN: analytical psychology.

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psy·cho·anal·y·sis .sī-kō-ə-'nal-ə-səs also psych·anal·y·sis .sī-kə- n, pl -y·ses -.sēz
1) a method of analyzing psychic phenomena and treating mental and emotional disorders that is based on the concepts and theories of Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes the importance of free association and dream analysis, and that involves treatment sessions during which the patient is encouraged to talk freely about personal experiences and esp. about early childhood and dreams
2) a body of empirical findings and a set of theories on human motivation, behavior, and personality development that developed esp. with the aid of psychoanalysis
3) a school of psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy founded by Sigmund Freud and rooted in and applying psychoanalysis

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a school of psychology and a method of treating mental disorders based upon the teachings of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Psychoanalysis employs the technique of free association in the course of intensive psychotherapy in order to bring repressed fears and conflicts to the conscious mind, where they can be dealt with (see repression). It stresses the dynamic interplay of unconscious forces and the importance of sexual development in childhood for the development of personality.

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psy·cho·anal·y·sis (si″ko-ə-nalґĭ-sis) 1. a theory of human mental phenomena and behavior (Freud). 2. a method of investigation into the contents of the mind. 3. a therapeutic technique based on Freud's theory, focusing on the influence that unconscious forces such as repressed impulses, internal conflicts, and childhood trauma have on the mental state. The therapist elicits from patients past emotional experiences and their influence on current mental life, so as to delineate the conflicts and mechanisms by which a pathologic mental state has been produced to furnish hints for psychotherapeutic procedures. The method employs free association, recall and interpretation of dreams, and interpretation of transference and resistance phenomena.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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