Dr. Mark Winborn
psychotherapy and analysis

Dr. Winborn has more than 30 years of experience in treating a wide array of issues and disorders, including:

Anxiety - Depression - Eating Disorders - Grief Therapy - Identity Issues
Individual Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis - Intimacy Issues - Life Transitions - Mood Disorders 
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Panic Disorders - Spiritual Issues - Trauma Recovery

There are hundreds of approaches to treating emotional distress which can generally be classified as counseling, psychotherapy, or psychoanalysis. Counseling deals primarily with ordinary life issues such as relationship problems, job stress, or life changes. In counseling the emphasis is on the use of advice, problem solving, and clarification to help the client develop a new approach to the life issue. Psychotherapy often goes into more depth and deals with specific symptoms such as depression, anxiety, anorexia, or obsessive-compulsive traits. For many individuals counseling or psychotherapy is adequate to deal with as problem. However, there are also many instances where psychotherapy or counseling isn’t enough. Psychoanalytic therapy is often helpful when briefer, less intensive treatments have not been adequate. It is the most in-depth and intensive form of psychotherapy. Because emotional problems are complex, and because there is no easy, fast solution for them, analysis is typically a long-term process. As a result, analysis may seem out of place in today’s fast paced world. We often want a quick fix for our problems, but it takes time to heal, change and grow.

Despite societal pressures for quick results, and the financial restrictions of managed care, psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy are still widely practiced throughout the United States. Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung established the practice of psychoanalysis at the beginning of the 20th  century, and psychoanalysis has evolved continuously over the past 100+ years. The theories of Freud and Jung have evolved and been modified as psychoanalytic understanding has progressed. If you're curious whether the in-depth approach to addressing emotional distress through psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy is effective and has relevance for today, I would encourage you to click on the links on the first page of this website which provide ample evidence that these psychodynamic approaches are not only effective and relevant but often superior and longer lasting than other forms of psychotherapy.

The Goal of Analysis

Analysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy differ from other forms of psychotherapy or counseling in several ways. Like these other disciplines, psychoanalytic treatment is concerned with easing emotional suffering.  However, the goal of psychoanalytic work is not simply solving problems or coping with psychological crisis. Analysis intends to help individuals develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of themselves. The goal of psychoanalytic treatment is to help people become mature, well-functioning human beings with a renewed sense of their own individual path in life. The process involves not only the healing of psychic wounds, but the uncovering of the unconscious blocks that prevent emotional growth and the realization of creative potential. The aim is not perfection but wholeness.

Although most people enter analysis because of a serious dissatisfaction with some aspect of their life, the benefits of psychoanalysis are not confined to those who are experiencing emotional disturbance. Many people who enter analysis are basically healthy individuals who desire to lead richer lives by “going deeper” into themselves to find greater meaning in life. Analysis is about becoming consciousness of who you are by establishing a dialogue with your unconscious mind. This dialogue takes place through an interaction with your dreams, fantasies, bodily sensations, and feelings. When the soil of one’s unconscious life is loosened, beneficial changes often begin to occur. Therefore, analysis is a kind of “inner work,” sometimes as much like a spiritual process as it is psychological treatment.

Psychoanalysis emphases the importance of unconscious influences on one’s current emotional state which interfere with living a full and satisfying life. Analysis is a joint effort by two people to try and understand the impact of these unconscious influences on behavior, relationships, and feelings. Because these forces are unconscious, the advice of friends or family, the reading of self-help books, or even the most determined exertion of willpower, usually fails to provide relief. The role of the psychoanalyst is to help the patient understand themselves, especially the unrecognized or unacknowledged aspects of their personality. Ultimately, psychoanalysis is about taking responsibility for one’s own life, however difficult that might be.

The Process of Analysis

Psychoanalysis is a highly individualized process that relies on the patient’s innate potential for growth and the analytic setting is specifically designed to encourage exploration of the deeper areas of the mind. Unlike some other therapies, the analyst doesn’t set the agenda for the sessions and doesn’t decide which issues the patient is supposed to discuss. Patients are encouraged to speak freely about whatever is on their mind without censoring their thoughts or feelings. For example patients might speak about dreams, fantasies, important events of the day, significant interactions, feelings about themselves, events from the past, or feelings about the analyst. The patient and analyst work together to understand the patient’s reactions to these experiences. As the patient speaks, hints of the unconscious sources of current difficulties begin to make themselves known and important patterns of meaning gradually emerge. Contrary to popular impression, analysis is not preoccupied with the past. Memories from earlier parts of one’s life are only used to understand one’s reactions to the present moment. This integration of the past and the present is part of the holistic growth associated with psychoanalysis.

In analysis the patient-analyst relationship is an important part of the treatment. Sometimes people are nervous about going to see an analyst because they feel they will reveal aspects of themselves that feel very private, but the analytic relationship allows this to take place in an atmosphere of emerging trust; an atmosphere in which difficult, painful experiences can be safely explored and understood. The therapeutic relationship provides a unique opportunity to understand one’s emotional reactions by exploring the feelings which come up in the therapeutic partnership. Through this exploration the patient becomes more aware of how unconscious patterns influence interpersonal relationships.  

Continuity in treatment is essential to developing the therapeutic relationship required for this kind of self-exploration. Therefore, in analysis the patient and the analyst meet more frequently and consistently. Analysis usually takes place with two or more sessions per week. Often people have the impression that coming more frequently means they are more “sick,” but this is not the case. The higher frequently of sessions in used to “intensify” the experience of analysis and allow the patient to delve deeper into his or her emotional life. However, analysts also recognize that not everyone has the financial resources, or the time, to meet for several sessions per week. When time or money is a significant issue then psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a useful option. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is based on the same principles as psychoanalysis but the patient and analyst meet once per week. Patients often choose to begin meeting once per week and increase the frequency of sessions only when the patient and the analyst agree that is the best choice for the treatment.          

Dr. Mark Winborn
Psychologist - Psychoanalyst

5050 Poplar Ave., Suite 1633
Memphis, TN 38157
phone (901)766-1890
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