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Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

Individuals who perform psychotherapy and psychoanalysis help people with mental disorders cope with their problems. They may work in private practice or in hospitals, companies and schools. Read on to learn more about turning an interest in the human mind into a career helping the mentally ill.

Inside Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

Psychotherapy describes an interactive process in which a patient experiencing mental or emotional distress meets with a therapist who offers advice, conducts observations and provides feedback. Psychoanalysis is a discipline that addresses mental disorders through identifying subconscious conflicts and desires. Psychotherapy may be psychological or behavioral in focus.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the main difference between psychotherapists and psychoanalysts is that psychotherapists meet occasionally with patients to provide strategies for resolving their problems, while psychoanalysts are involved in more long-term counseling and therapy (www.bls.gov). Students of psychotherapy learn about the prevailing theories of the mind and the various treatment options. These treatments typically rely on some combination of dialogue, analysis, hypnosis, artistic expression and behavior modification. Psychoanalysis uses interpretation of dreams, fantasies, free association and personal stories to uncover root causes of illness.

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