Clients interested in psychoanalysis must be willing to commit to an intensive and long-term therapy process. The intent of psychoanalytic therapy is to allow access to the unconscious as a source of conflicts and motivations. The therapist uses techniques such as free association (the client reports anything that comes to mind) and dream analysis (the interpretation of the client’s dreams) to find commonalities in the client’s thoughts and behaviors and to then interpret them in terms of the client’s problems.
The treatment process can, at times, become blocked by the client’s resistance (their unwillingness to provide information). Transference is a condition in which the client begins to consider their therapist in the same emotional way they would consider a person in their lives, such as a parent or sibling. Working with interpretation, resistance, and transference is sometimes called “working through,” a therapeutic technique in which the therapist helps the client better understand their conflicts and how to resolve them.