top of page

The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia defines psychoanalytic psychotherapy as, "a distinct discipline . . . constantly evolving as new information is absorbed" and "a theoretical approach to the treatment of emotional problems . . . a premise that many emotional and cognitive functions and experiences take place in the unconscious and can be modified by insight or self understanding. A further premise is that the therapy takes place in the evolving relationship between the therapist and patient where transference and counter-transference issues in that relationship can be explored to shed light on the patient’s characteristic ways of functioning and lead to healthier and more effective solutions."

Psychotherapy conducted by psychiatrists

May 2004. Position statement 54

Psychotherapy is a modality of treatment in which the psychiatrist and patient(s) work together to relieve psychopathological conditions and functional impairment through focus on:

  • the therapeutic relationship

  • the patient’s attitudes, thoughts, affect, and behaviour and

  • the social context and development.

Psychotherapy is based on a number of different theoretical foundations. The most commonly used are cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic therapy, which are derived from psychoanalysis. Psychotherapy may be practised with an individual patient or with a group.

Psychotherapy conducted by psychiatrists centres on a holistic approach to mental illness based on medical training and clinical experience. Patients who require and receive psychotherapy conducted by psychiatrists are ill, often seriously, and are improved by these forms of treatment. They may respond less favourably to alternative short-term treatments.

Diagnostic manuals

October 2016

Position statement 77

Diagnostic manuals allow clinicians, teachers and researchers to ensure consistency in diagnosis. However, the complexity of patients’ presentations may not always fit neatly into diagnostic categories.

 Empathink Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (EAPSP).

Self Psychology is a form of psychodynamic psychotherapy that posits that an individual’s self-cohesion, self-esteem, and vitality derive from and are maintained by the attuned responsiveness of others to his/her needs.

Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP)

A Conversational Model of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

A very good article by Janet Malcolm was published in the New Yorker, November 24, 1980 Issue.

The Impossible Profession—I

Director Giovanni Maria Ruggiero interviews for State of Mind ( ) Peter Fonagy Ph.D , creator of Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT) at the Anna Freud Centre in London during the Advanced training in MBT.

The School Of Life

How Psychotherapy Works

Psychotherapy holds out the promise of being able to help  with many of the problems that ruin our lives: anxiety, self-hatred, shame and confusion... But how exactly does it work? On what basis can it help us?

bottom of page