It’s a common stereotype that traditional Freudian analysis lines the pockets of the analyst while offering insights to the client and no real resolution. I suspect there is a lot of truth to this, with the caveat that I don’t have personal experience with Freudian analysis.
Analysis and insight at a story level is just the first step in resolving our issues. It gives us an idea of what to work on. For any real and more thorough resolution, we have to go further and typically use other approaches.
What are these other approaches? It can be a range of different things and depends on the person, the issue, and what’s available.
Here are some examples:
Act in spite of our fears. Act as we imagine we would act without the issue. Try it out. Make small steps. (I am sure this one often is part of psychoanalysis sessions.)
Engage in dialog with the different parts of us, and the different parts of the issue. Take the role of the different parts of our mind. (Voice Dialog, Big Mind process, Internal Family Systems).
Use heart-centered approaches like ho’oponopono or Tonglen. This can be deeply transformative and helps us transform our relationship to the issue, the person or situation the issue seems to be about, ourselves, others, and the world, and it also transforms the issue itself.
Release tension and trauma out of the body through, for instance, therapeutic tremoring (TRE). Over time, this can take some or most of the charge out of the issue.
Go further in exploring how the mind creates its own experience of the issue. See how the mind associates sensations with thoughts to give the thoughts a charge and create the issue. See the associations the mind has around it, holding it in place. Find underlying beliefs and identifications, also holding it in place. This can be done with the Living Inquiries.
Identify and examine stressful and painful stories and beliefs holding the issue in place, for instance through The Work.
Use energy healing to bring awareness into the issue and releasing it from all the different parts of our being. (Energy bodies, pathways, chakras, energetic blueprints, physical organs, etc.) Vortex Healing is by far the most powerful and effective approach I have found for this. (In thirty years of exploring a range of approaches.)
These are just some of the approaches I have experience with and have found helpful. What’s common for all of them is that they go beyond just taking and having some understandings, and that’s essential for any real resolution. Whether that resolution is in our relationship to the issue (or what it appears to be about), or a resolution of the issue itself.
And for any of them to be effective, we need to do it with sincerity, receptivity, some doggedness, and with guidance. After a while, we may rely more or mostly on our own guidance, but it’s always good to have the perspective of someone else, especially when it comes to our more ingrained issues.
I should mention that I have a great deal of appreciation and respect for Freud. The essence is sounds and valuable (that much of what’s happening in our mind is outside of conscious awareness, projections, defense mechanisms, etc). And yet, he was a pioneer and a child of his own time and culture, so much of the specifics are perhaps less helpful.
A friend of mine recently told me of a relative who is suicidal (and a psychiatrist) and goes to Freudian psychoanalysis three times a week without it appearing to do much good, or at least not enough good. That was the seed for this article.