[ 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

OTHER WORDS FROM psychoanalysis


psychiatry psychology psychoanalysis psychotherapy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for psychoanalysis

/ (ˌsaɪkəʊəˈnælɪsɪs) /


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 of psychoanalysis

psychoanalyst (ˌsaɪkəʊˈænəlɪst), nounpsychoanalytic (ˌsaɪkəʊˌænəˈlɪtɪk) or psychoanalytical, adjectivepsychoanalytically, 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

Medical definitions for psychoanalysis

[ sī′kō-ə-nălĭ-sĭs ]

n. pl. psy•cho•a•nal•y•ses (-sēz′)

The method of psychological 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.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.
Psychotherapy incorporating this method and theory.

Other words from psychoanalysis

psy′cho•an′a•lytic (-ăn′ə-lĭtĭk) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for psychoanalysis


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.

notes for psychoanalysis

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