Text Size

Because many of the terms used to describe different forms of therapy and counseling are rarely used in common conversation, trying to make sense of it all when you need some help can seem a little daunting. Here is a brief explanation of the difference between psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

Psychotherapy is an umbrella term that describes a number of different forms of talk therapy; other terms that can be used more or less interchangeably with the term psychotherapy include counseling and therapy. During psychotherapy, you talk with a trained professional about the way you feel, think and react to challenges in life with the ultimate goal of resolving or reducing the negative symptoms of an emotional or mental health problem.

Some different kinds of psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Marital or family therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Many other types


Psychoanalysis is a type of psychotherapy. It was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800’s and it is based on overcoming the desires and negative influences of the unconscious mind.

Psychoanalysis is what is often thought of as therapy by those unfamiliar with the counseling process, with a patient reclined on a couch facing away from the therapist and talking about the past.

Psychoanalytic therapists encourage patients to use free association as a way to come to insights about unresolved issues from the past that are resulting in emotional or behavioral problems in the present.

Psychoanalysis is used most typically to treat patients suffering from neurosis or personality complaints. It is a very intensive (and thus expensive) form of therapy, as a typical course of therapy will often require 3-5 sessions per week over a period of years.

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated Dec 10, 2010

Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Addiction Treatment Options - Pros and Cons
The Pros and Cons of Different Addiction Treatment Options © Danielle Zeda
This article outlines the different treatment options for alcoholism and drug addiction. It explains what each treatment is like and gives some of the pros and cons of each type of treatment. Read Article
Addiction Treatment April 03, 2013 (3)
Overcoming Panic: A Practical Case Study
Overcoming Panic Attacks - A Case Study and Practical Tips © Litherland
Pragmatic and in-depth approaches are what it takes to overcome panic attacks. Read Article
Co-Occurring Disorders August 30, 2013
Improve Yourself in 4 Areas to Overcome Addiction
Improve Yourself in 4 Ways and Beat Addiction for Good © Skippyjon
Addiction is a complex disease that affects the mind, body and soul. To beat addiction for good you’ve got to be ready to make some serious changes and improve yourself. Read on to find out how making improvements in your physical, psychological, interpersonal and spiritual functioning can help you to overcome addiction for good. Read Article
Drug Rehab December 08, 2011

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app