Is Psychoanalysis Right For Me?

Psychoanalysis is a unique opportunity to engage in a special kind of conversation that is intimate and progressively open about one’s life history, hopes, fears, dreams and dilemmas.  One gains personal insights and new possibilities through this shared exploration in a private and protected space.  In this way, psychoanalytic treatment is a powerful, challenging, often exciting, and sometimes distressing process of self-discovery. 

The goals go beyond the relief of distressing symptoms to include resolution of internal conflicts, release from repetitive and frustrating life patterns, deep self-knowledge, and sustained personal change.  Individuals undertaking psychoanalysis commit substantial time, emotional energy, and expense to gain deeper understanding of who they are, how they perceive and relate to themselves and others, how they approach and adapt to life’s challenges, and how they have come to have these unique perspectives. The rigors of psychoanalysis make this a treatment that is not recommended or undertaken lightly. 

With this understanding in mind, psychoanalysis is often the most effective and enduring treatment for certain kinds of personal difficulties. 

Some common concerns for which psychoanalysis is often the best treatment

  • trouble making life decisions or taking action in important areas
  • lack of fulfillment or failure to advance in your studies, work or other endeavors
  • trouble establishing a satisfying intimate relationship
  • repetitive patterns of conflict or disappointment in work, family, or social relationships
  • an ongoing sense of low self-worth
  • a persistent feeling of detachment or disconnection from friends or activities
  • creative “blocks” or other inability finishing important projects or pursuits
  • physical complaints that might be manifestations of underlying emotional conflict

Some concerns for which psychoanalysis may be the best treatment:

  • long-standing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety
  • diminished capacity for pleasure in life activities
  • trouble with excessive anger
  • sexual inhibitions, lack of sexual satisfaction, or other sexual problems

Some concerns for which psychoanalysis is generally not a good treatment option although each situation is unique and none of these are absolute exclusions:

  • active addiction issues
  • hearing voices or holding beliefs that are not consistent with reality
  • criminal behaviors
  • violence towards others or towards oneself

Please also see Frequently Asked Questions for more information.



If you feel psychoanalysis may be right for you, consider one of these options:

Private arrangements –

Refer to the pages under “Find a Psychoanalyst/Therapist” to locate a psychoanalyst close to you for an initial consultation. You may wish to meet with two or more psychoanalysts to find the best personal “fit.” Fees vary, and many psychoanalysts are willing to adjust their fees when needed.

Reduced fee psychoanalysis –

The Institute of the PINE Psychoanalytic Center offers reduced fee psychoanalysis for individuals who qualify but may otherwise be unable to afford this treatment.  If you qualify for analytic treatment in PINE’s institute analysis program, you will be treated by an experienced therapist who is in training to become a psychoanalyst (referred to as a psychoanalytic “candidate”).

If you are interested in obtaining psychoanalytic treatment, please contact the PINE office by telephone or e-mail as listed below:

Alice Rapkin, Administrative Director
phone/fax 781-449-8365;



Many senior members of  the Institute of the PINE Psychoanalytic Center offer free clinical consultations to psychiatric residents, as well as psychology, social work and licensed mental health counselor trainees in the Greater Boston area.  Interested residents, interns, and recent graduates may write or call Alice Rapkin, Administrative Director.