I’m not sure my problem is big enough.


For a long time, psychoanalysts refused to see patients who were “too disturbed”. They found that psychoanalysis is most effective for people who generally function well in their lives but struggle with things like stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, coming to terms with bereavements, navigating midlife crises etc. This has changed in the sense that many analysts now work successfully with patients who have complex problems such as schizophrenia. But the vast majority of patients are people with jobs and families, people who are at a point in their lives where they feel stuck or overwhelmed, full of sadness or regret, in search of meaning in life, or trying to understand who they really are, and why.

“Nobody, as long as he moves through the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble”, said C.G. Jung. If you feel that something troubles you and that by talking to someone about it would help, then psychoanalysis is for you.

It could, of course, also be the case that you are simply curious and determined to get to know those layers of your mind that operate outside of consciousness. This, rather than wanting “treatment”, may be a reason to enter psychoanalysis, although you should be aware that it comes with a warning label attached: encounters with the unconscious are inherently unpredictable. If you relish learning about yourself, however, it can be highly rewarding.