Lives of the Unconscious

Lives of the Unconscious

Podcast on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Episode 18: Healing Through Understanding—How psychoanalysis works


Lives of the Unconscious

Summary:
“And how is this supposed to work here?” This is the question that quite a few patients ask at the beginning of psychotherapy. How psychotherapy works—especially psychoanalytic treatment—is, at first glance, more difficult to explain than, say, the effect of a medical procedure. A physicians has instruments, to operate on a broken leg, prescribes exercises or drugs, for example an antibiotic. The patient soon feels better and the therapy has worked.
But what is it like in psychotherapy? Psychoanalysts have no book with therapy instructions, no exercises; they don’t have any pills in the cupboard or anything else that they can conjure up from some therapeutic toolbox. What, after all, is the “drug” in psychoanalysis?
In psychoanalysis the principle is: healing through understanding. But the questions remains: How can understanding cure a disease? In this episode we will explore the answer to this question.

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Literature Recommendations:

  • Bion, W. R. (1984). Learning from Experience. ‎ Routledge
  • Jimenez, J. P. (2012). The manifest dream is the real dream: the changing relationship between theory and practice in the interpretation of dreams. In: Fonagy, P., Kächele, H., Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. & Taylor, D. (eds.). The significance of dreams: Bridging clinical and extraclinical research in psychoanalysis. London (Karnac Books), 31-48.
  • Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. (2012). Changes in dreams – from a psychoanalysis with a traumatised, chronic depressed patient. In: Fonagy, P., Kächele, H., Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. & Taylor, D. (eds.). The significance of dreams: Bridging clinical and extraclinical research in psychoanalysis. London (Karnac Books), 49-85.
  • Kächele, H., Eberhardt, J. & Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. (1999). Expressed relationships, dream atmosphere & problem solving in Amalia´s dreams – Dream series as process tool to investigate cognitive changes. A single case study. In: Kächele, H., Mergenthaler, E. & Krause, R. (Hg.) Psychoanalytic Process Research Strategies II.
  • Riesenberg-Malcolm, R. (2001). Bion’s Theory of containment
  • Winnicott, D. W. (1994). Holding and Interpretation: Fragment of an Analysis. Grove Atlantic

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