Paul Compton, MD
 Psychoanalysis, Psychiatry, Individual and Group Psychotherapy
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How do psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy work?

Many aspects of our minds operate outside of our awareness, or unconsciously. It is essential that our minds be able to perform certain operations unconsciously, for instance we can breathe without having to think about it. However, these unconscious processes, when they influence our feelings and behaviors, may create unhappiness, sometimes in the form of physical and emotional symptoms and at other times as troubling personality traits, difficulties in work or in love relationships, or disturbances in mood and self-esteem. Because these forces are unconscious, the advice of friends and family, the reading of self-help books, or even the most determined efforts of will, often fail to provide relief.

In the course of our lives we have experiences which shape our attitudes, assumptions, feelings and behaviors. We learn. But often the lessons learned, especially in childhood, are distorted by as yet incomplete brain development, imperfect parenting and prior experiences. Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, whether in a group or individually, are designed to unlock the unconscious mind, to shed light on our hidden assumptions, to help us understand why we are feeling what we are feeling and acting the way we are acting. The process might sound a little scary, but most of the time when people uncover something that has been unconscious they ultimately can say that they knew it all along.

The benefits of this greater understanding of oneself are greater personal freedom, improved self-esteem, an increased comfort in one’s own skin, improved relationships, and relief from painful and debilitating symptoms. It becomes possible to avoid self-defeating behaviors, to be more creative and more effective at work, and to cope more effectively with stress.


Paul Compton, MD
4131 Spicewood Springs Road
Building M, Suite 2
Austin, Texas 78759 
Call for an appointment: (512) 658-2805