The principal service offered at The Psychology Clinic is psychoanalytic treatment. Psychoanalysis is both a method of treating psychological problems, and a theory of how human beings function. It arose through the study of subjectivity, and is principally concerned with subjectivity (rather than scales and questionnaires). The fundamental premise of psychoanalytic theory is that every person has thoughts, motivations, and desires that are barred from conscious awareness, which is to say, are unconscious. There is no means of direct access to the unconscious and its contents. Instead, psychoanalysts, like other psychotherapists deal with the subject’s language. Where language fails – and, at some point, it always fails – the unconscious joins in the conversations by other means, such as dreams, slips of the tongue, bungled actions, and, particularly, symptoms.

There are thousands of psychoanalysts across the world, and many different schools of psychoanalysis. Around half of these psychoanalysts identify themselves as Lacanian, after the French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan (1901 – 1981). There are several Lacanian schools in Melbourne. Psychoanalysis is non-directive, and generally long-term – it is not a ‘quick fix’. Its aim is to use language to explore how a subject’s enjoyment, desire and fantasy are linked to formations of the unconscious, such as symptoms. In contrast to other approaches, a psychoanalyst does not purport to know what a subject should be thinking, or doing with their life. Psychoanalysis is neither didactic, nor coercive, and the analyst is an expert at helping people to analyse themselves, in the context of a long-term relationship. Psychoanalysts eschew the prescription of generic ‘strategies’ and tricks to solve complex problems, and psychoanalysts do not view patients as problems to be ‘managed’. In learning about their own subjectivity,  people find some relief from the burdens of their suffering and their symptoms.

If you would like to consider entering into psychoanalytic treatment, please contact us for further information.