Lives of the Unconscious
“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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