According to Craib (2001), psychoanalysis is defined as a specific technique for mind investigation and a therapy that is inspired by the investigation. In the modern world, psychoanalysis has found its significant application in the treatment for alleviating emotional and mental distress. The simple technique of psychoanalysis during treatment heals by the therapeutic interaction between the therapist and patient. Psychoanalysis is based on the psychoanalytic theory which was first set up by Sigmund Freud (Freud & Chase, 2007). The psychoanalytic theory has gone through numerous refinements from the time Freud started his work as a psychoanalyst. Psychoanalysis works on the basis of its key concepts and it helps in the improvement of the client’s personality, relationship with other people, and symptoms of mental ill health (Craib, 2001).
Psychoanalysis is comprised of three key concepts which include the unconscious, resistance, and transference as a theoretical system (Moore & Fine, 1995). The unconscious is the central concept of psychoanalysis and is defined as a reservoir in an individual’s mental state which is composed of experiences and elements of which the individual is unaware. To some extent, the elements and experience within the mental state may be brought into conscious or preconscious awareness, or can identified from the aspects of an individual’s behavior. Resistance is the second key concept of psychoanalysis and is defined as the process by which the elements of the unconscious are forcibly not allowed into the conscious awareness specifically by active repressive force. Transference is the third key concept of psychoanalysis and it has become the fundamental aspect of the present day psychoanalytic practice (Moore & Fine, 1995).
Psychoanalysis has been found to be an effective form of treatment for a broad range of mental difficulties. People who have been treated by use of psychoanalysis have maintained the positive changes they achieved in the course of the therapy (Freud & Chase, 2007). It has developed clients’ capacities to recognize themselves than before as well as to analyze new challenges that arise. Long-term psychoanalysis produces substantial improvement in personality and symptoms of mental ill health (Craib, 2001). Neuroscientists have emphasized the importance of the unconscious awareness and the beneficial effect of the therapeutic relationship on the function of brain. The benefits of psychoanalysis include improvement in self-esteem, relationships, and work (Moore & Fine, 1995).