psychoanalysis psy·cho·a·nal·y·sis (sī'kō-ə-nāl'ĭ-sĭs)
n. pl. psy·cho·a·nal·y·ses (-sēz')
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.
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.
Psychiatric treatment incorporating this method and theory.
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.