- a method, developed by Freud and others, of investigating mental processes and of treating neuroses and some other disorders of the mind: it is based on the assumption that such disorders are the result of the rejection by the conscious mind of factors that then persist in the unconscious as repressed instinctual forces, causing conflicts which may be resolved or diminished by discovering and analyzing the repressions and bringing them into consciousness through the use of such techniques as free association, dream analysis, etc.
- the theory or practice of this
Origin of psychoanalysisModL: see psycho- and amp; analysis
- a. The method of psychological therapy originated by Sigmund Freud in which free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference are used to explore repressed or unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts, in order to free psychic energy for mature love and work.b. The theory of personality developed by Freud that focuses on repression and unconscious forces and includes the concepts of infantile sexuality, resistance, transference, and division of the psyche into the id, ego, and superego.
- Psychotherapy incorporating this method and theory.
- psy′cho·an′a·lyt′ic , psy′cho·an′a·lyt′i·cal