What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is a general psychology which owes its establishment to Sigmund Freud. It provides techniques for treating psychological problems which rely on a long-term, intimate relationship between analyst and patient—a relationship designed to achieve both a more profound understanding of the conscious and unconscious reasons for an individual’s psychological problems, and a more lasting emotional growth.

Since Freud’s time, psychoanalytic knowledge has continued to broaden and deepen. Over the past century psychoanalysis has accumulated a body of knowledge about human psychology that includes an understanding of both the unconscious mind and of normal and pathological development from infancy through old age.  This knowledge has not only been useful in clinical mental healthcare, but has also been applied in a wide variety of related disciplines from anthropology to neuroscience, and in a wide range of social activities including education and parenting.

To see a American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) video of the history of Psychoanalysis in the United States, please click below.

100 Years of Psychoanalysis in America from Jake Lynn on Vimeo.


The American Psychoanalytic Association has a blog called Psychoanalysis Unplugged. Writers are members of APsaA and will provide deeper perspectives on topics of interest and importance to the general public. The aim of this blog is to demonstrate that psychoanalytic ideas are relevant, accessible, compelling, and informative—especially in today’s fast-paced, digital world.