People experiencing BPD who are referred to Spectrum’s Psychoanalytic Clinic (PAC) can meet with a clinician up to twice a week for individual treatment. Sometimes this means starting with one session a week, and over time building up to two.
In psychoanalysis, the client is invited to speak freely in an uncensored way. What is unique to psychoanalysis is that the clinicians who listen have themselves undergone a psychoanalytic treatment during their training. This means the clinician brings an awareness of the effects of speaking to a psychoanalyst, the challenges this can entail, and the potential benefits of doing so.
When the method of psychoanalysis was first introduced over one hundred years ago, it was named ‘the talking cure’ by one of Sigmund Freud’s patients. A function of that naming remains relevant to psychoanalysis today, for despite moving with the times, emphasis is still placed on what the client has to say, over and above any preconceived knowledge the clinician may have about their symptoms, circumstances, or past.
Psychoanalytic treatment can be very effective in working through experiences that are difficult to understand, or prone to being misunderstood by friends, family, or colleagues. People with a diagnosis of BPD often report that the symptoms they experience (e.g. disturbing thoughts, feelings and impulses) frequently become heightened in interpersonal situations, complicating their relationships. These difficulties can be addressed, and worked on in the sessions as they arise.
At Spectrum, psychoanalysis is conducted on a one-to-one basis, with the client supported to say whatever they feel. It’s a very personal session, where the beneficial effects of being heard are given time to develop. It is through having a trusted relationship with the clinician that the client is able to give voice to what might otherwise remain lost for words. Clients can find clarity around where they stand in relation to others, their world, their history, and the things they aspire to. Psychoanalysis can become a way of discovering and creating the means to make a positive difference.