Psychoanalysis is a type of psychological intervention used to help people deal with emotional and behavioural problems.
Psychoanalysis is based on the idea that individuals are often unaware of many of the factors that determine their emotions and behaviour. These unconscious factors may be the source of considerable distress and unhappiness.
Psychoanalysis is designed to reveal how these unconscious factors affect current relationships and patterns of behaviour, trace them back to their historical origins, show how they have changed and developed over time, and help the individual to deal better with them.
There are many different forms of psychoanalysis and each may use slightly different techniques. However most forms of psychoanalysis encourage the individual to explore and discuss his or her emotional and behavioural problems with the therapist.
Sometimes the individual may also be encouraged to discuss problems with other people in couple therapy, family therapy or group therapy.
Creative therapies - such as art therapy, drama therapy and music therapy - may follow psychoanalytic principles.