Lynne Malcolm, for ABC’s All In the Mind program, interviews three psychoanalysts about how their field remains “relevant and useful in the contemporary therapeutic landscape.” Psychoanalyst, Rudi Vermote, “argues that psychiatry and psychology can learn from the slow-and-steady approach of psychoanalysis, which aims to avoid quick fixes to mental health.” “In contemporary approaches they are offered in 10 sessions or 20 sessions, but a lot of patients do not feel helped with it. And there must be space for that personal inner life.”
Whatever one believes about psychoanalysis, the psychoanalytic model highlights the importance of an individual’s emotional experience of life from the time of infancy. Modern psychoanalytic schools all consider real trauma to be crucial in understanding a person’s emotional reality. Psychoanalytic writings tend to explore the importance of emotions and real experience and while at times might be overly nuanced, can add to the appreciation of the complexity of the human mind. In this way, psychoanalysis and psycho-dynamics oppose biological psychiatry with its emphasis on numbing emotions rather than understanding them.