What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy has a number of fundamental assumptions about human experience:

  • That individuals are governed by both conscious and unconscious processes.
  • That unresolved relationships and experiences from the past are repeated and re-enacted in the present and can cause much emotional and mental distress.
  • That the individual and professional relationship with the psychotherapist is central to the processes of working through the underlying difficulties.

It provides the opportunity to explore, make sense of, and work through the processes which inform feelings, thoughts and actions. The understanding and insight gained can alleviate emotional, mental and physical symptoms, leading to more satisfactory and meaningful ways of conducting one’s life and relationships. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is usually intensive long-term work and requires considerable commitment of time and energy.

The frequency of sessions ranges from once to three or more times a week, and is worked out with the psychotherapist.  Sessions last 50 minutes. The length of time a person may be in psychoanalytic psychotherapy is very variable and is determined by the individual’s or couple’s needs. For further details and information about psychoanalytic psychotherapy can be obtained from the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

Who’s it for?

Many individuals suffer from a wide range of emotional and mental distress caused by a variety of factors which affect their lives, their relationships, both personal and professional, and their sense of effectiveness at work and in their intimate lives. These difficulties often manifest as depression or anxiety or other painful and confusing emotional and physical symptoms.

Some people come in order to make sense of more generalised feelings of loss and emptiness or dissatisfaction. These can be accompanied by overwhelming and inexplicable feelings towards the self and others, such as anger, despair or rootlessness.

The insights and benefits gained from this kind of psychotherapeutic work can release an individual’s potential for effective and creative living, in personal relationships, at work and in relation to their own ‘self’.

Who provides the counselling?

All the psychoanalytic psychotherapists in this service are members of:

They may also hold membership of other professional organisations.

How is the quality of service ensured?

The psychoanalytic psychotherapy service staff have undertaken extensive training. The service requires that members have considerable experience, and that they maintain their own continuing professional development. The latter includes consultancy supervision of ongoing work, which is an important quality assurance process. HDS has a complaints procedure available on request.

Where do counselling sessions take place?

Counsellors will work from a variety of locations and this will be discussed with you.

HDS has a soundproof counselling room at our central Glasgow offices, as well as other rooms suitable for counselling sessions. 

How much does it cost?

We offer two fee options, including an affordable option, which will be discussed with you during your assessment. 

  • £50 per session if you wish to work with qualified counsellors in an open-ended way (with you deciding on when you’d like to finish therapy).
  • £20 to £30 per session (based on what you can contribute) if you wish to work with trainees for a block of 20 or 40 sessions.  

Book an appointment / Make an enquiry

The first step to booking an appointment is to complete the online counselling request form or to call us.  We will discuss with you what you are looking for and find the right counsellor for you.  We’ll send you an email confirming the appointment for your initial session and include a link to further information about what to expect.

Make a counselling request 

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