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Psychoanalytic Psychology

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What is psychoanalytic psychology?

Psychoanalytic Psychology

Broadly stated, Psychoanalytic Psychology is concerned with the individual's past as explanation for the individual's current state of mind and personality. It was developed, formalized and popularized, although not wholly originated, by Sigmund Freud in the latter 1800s and early 1900s. Since then, it has spawned both multiple variations of it and reactive theories against it. Freud's version is the one most often depicted in the popular media of the person lying on a couch and a listening, wise old man seated next to the couch, taking notes. It involves focus on the unconscious mind which can be revealed, according to Freud, through dream analysis, free association, recognition of certain intrapsychic defense mechanisms and other means.

Although Freud was a psychiatrist himself, and therefore of a medical background, it is currently a more common practice orientation to psychologists than to psychiatrists. Some of the reasons for this may be that psychiatry has necessarily focused more on medication and adopted other forms of psychotherapy too.



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