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What Is Psychoanalysis?

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Updated December 09, 2013

Definition: Psychoanalysis is a form of long-term therapy developed by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s. Psychoanalysis involves the use of techniques such as free association (uncensored thought) and dream analysis to explore the unconscious.

Classical psychoanalytic theory is based on the premise that mental health problems arise as a result of unacceptable repressed unconscious desires from childhood. Although psychoanalysis has generally fallen out of favor, aspects of the practice have influenced the development of a variety of other therapies.

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