Goals of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

In the initial assessment session, I usually ask my patients what their goals are for therapy?
Some patients have a hard time articulating what they hope to get out of therapy. So I rephrase my question to something like, “If after a year of coming to weekly therapy this was working for you, how would you know it? What would be different for you?”
I see from their facial expressions that they now understand the question and are actually thinking about their goals for therapy. For most of my patients, when they talk about improvement in therapy they refer implicitly to a range of goals that go beyond relief of the specific symptoms which initially brought them to therapy.

The goals that bring most of my patients to psychotherapy include:
1️⃣Symptom relief: the disappearance or mitigation of the symptoms of psychopathology (depression, anxiety, panic, worry, etc.).
2️⃣The development of insight (Learning things about oneself that were not previously known to us)
3️⃣An increase in one’s sense of agency (locus of control is inside rather than outside).
4️⃣The securing or solidifying of a sense of identity (an internal integrity and authenticity about who one is).
5️⃣ An increase in realistically-based self-esteem (willingness to admit one’s flaws and accept oneself with them).
6️⃣An improvement in the ability to recognize and handle feelings.
7️⃣The enhancement of ego strength and self-cohesion (ability to think and verbalize rather than act out).
8️⃣An expansion of the capacity to love, to work, and to depend appropriately on others (recognize one’s true limits and ask the right people for the right help, and provide them the same).
9️⃣An increase in one’s experience of pleasure and serenity (an overall peace of mind that evolves quietly over the course of time). I will explain each of these 9 goals in more detail in future posts.


In our hectic world, it is easy to lose sight of who you really are. You might feel unhappy, on-edge, directionless, and lonely without understanding what is keeping you so stuck and stalled. Sometimes, it may seem as though your emotions have too much power over your choices and your life.

You don’t have to settle for a life half-lived. In a warm, trusting, collaborative, and non-judgmental space, you can embark on an empowering journey of self-discovery. With curiosity, self-compassion, and commitment to the process, you can unlock your innate strength and wisdom. Then, you can let go of limitations and live in service of your truest self.

At Introspection Beverly Hills, I welcome you as you are. Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, or relationship issues, I work closely with you to find the answers you need to heal and thrive.

Don’t wait to embrace all that your life can offer. Take a moment to explore my website, where you can learn more about my specialties, approach, practice, and background.

Then, once you are ready to greet your truest self, contact me. I look forward to working with you!