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[sahy-koh-uh-nal-uh-sis] /ˌsaɪ koʊ əˈnæl ə sɪs/
a systematic structure of theories concerning the relation of conscious and unconscious psychological processes.
a technical procedure for investigating unconscious mental processes and for treating psychoneuroses.
Origin of psychoanalysis
From the German word Psychoanalyse, dating back to 1905-10. See psycho-, analysis
Related forms
[sahy-koh-an-l-it-ik] /ˌsaɪ koʊˌæn lˈɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
psychoanalytical, adjective
psychoanalytically, adverb
nonpsychoanalytic, adjective
nonpsychoanalytical, adjective
nonpsychoanalytically, adverb
postpsychoanalytic, adjective
Can be confused
psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for psychoanalytic


a method of studying the mind and treating mental and emotional disorders based on revealing and investigating the role of the unconscious mind
Derived Forms
psychoanalyst (ˌsaɪkəʊˈænəlɪst) noun
psychoanalytic (ˌsaɪkəʊˌænəˈlɪtɪk), psychoanalytical, adjective
psychoanalytically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for psychoanalytic

1902, from psychoanalysis + -ic.



1906, from Psychoanalyse, coined 1896 in French by Freud from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "mental" (see psyche) + German Analyse, from Greek analysis (see analysis). Freud earlier used psychische analyse (1894).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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psychoanalytic in Medicine

psychoanalysis psy·cho·a·nal·y·sis (sī'kō-ə-nāl'ĭ-sĭs)
n. pl. psy·cho·a·nal·y·ses (-sēz')

  1. The method of psychiatric 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. Also called psychoanalytic therapy.

  2. 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.

  3. Psychiatric treatment incorporating this method and theory.

psy'cho·an'a·lyt'ic (-ān'ə-lĭt'ĭk) or psy'cho·an'a·lyt'i·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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psychoanalytic in Culture

psychoanalysis definition

A method of treating mental illness, originating with Sigmund Freud, in which a psychiatrist (analyst) helps a patient discover and confront the causes of the illness. Many psychiatrists believe that these causes are buried deep in the unconscious of the patient and can be brought to the surface through such techniques as hypnosis and the analysis of dreams. Psychoanalysis emphasizes that mental illness usually originates in repressed sexual desires or traumas in childhood.

Note: Psychoanalysis is sometimes simply called analysis.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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