Centre for Lacanian Psychoanalysis New Zealand

What is Psychoanalysis?

What is psychoanalysis? How does it work? Is it weird?


The Centre for Lacanian Analysis practices psychoanalysis in the Lacanian orientation and Freudian tradition.


Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic approach developed by Sigmund Freud that seeks to understand and treat mental distress and suffering, issues such as depression, anxiety, sexuality, gender issues and childhood trauma through an explorative encounter with the unconscious. It is a comprehensive and complex theory of human psychology that has evolved over time and continues to play a vital role in contemporary psychological practice. 


A core tenet of psychoanalysis that behaviour is influenced by unconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories that are hidden from awareness but shape our thoughts, emotions, and actions. These unconscious processes are often at odds with our conscious desires and can lead to conflicts and difficulties in our mental and emotional functioning. Psychoanalysis aims to bring these unconscious processes into consciousness and help individuals gain insight and understanding. 


A fundamental technique in psychoanalysis is free association, where patients are encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings, and fantasies without censoring or judging themselves. This allows the analyst to gain insight into the patient’s unconscious processes and identify patterns and conflicts that may be contributing to their symptoms or distress. Dreams play a significant role in psychoanalysis, dreams are thought of as a window into the unconscious which could illuminate hidden conflicts and desires. Through dream analysis, patients can gain insight into their unconscious processes and explore the symbolic meanings of their dreams. 


Psychoanalysis also emphasizes the role of early childhood experiences, particularly the parent-child relationship, in shaping personality and behaviour. Our early experiences, especially during the first few years of life, can have a lasting impact on our development and influence our adult relationships and behaviours.


At the CLA we work individually in a non-judgmental and confidential process which respects the uniqueness of each individual regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and socioeconomic status in a welcoming setting where you can talk freely about your troubles. Enquire here to book a consultation.

Sigmund Freud depicted standing and facing a bust sculpture of himself. The image shows two of Freuds faces in profile looking at each other.