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Definition of "psychoanalysis" []

  • The method of psychological therapy originated by Sigmund Freud in which free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference are used to explore repressed or unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts, in order to free psychic energy for mature love and work. (noun)
  • The theory of personality developed by Freud that focuses on repression and unconscious forces and includes the concepts of infantile sexuality, resistance, transference, and division of the psyche into the id, ego, and superego. (noun)
  • Psychotherapy incorporating this method and theory. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "psychoanalysis" in a sentence
  • "When Freud chose the term "psychoanalysis," he was sensitive not only to the meanings of the root word psyche as "soul" and as "butterfly," but he must have had in mind, as well, the transformative connotation of the word."
  • "What makes the children make themselves is called psychoanalysis."
  • "Child psychoanalysis is rarely portrayed in the media -- maybe never -- and certainly never so well as on this season's Madmen."