Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy focuses on the unconscious and believes the repressed unconscious influences our everyday behaviour. Each person is understood to be driven by unconscious impulses, and early relationship experiences. This approach focuses mainly on the first six years of human life and how the events of this time period structures personality. Repressed conflicts from childhood lead to personality problems later in life. Anxiety is a direct result of the repression of conflicts. Psychotherapists believe that the unconscious motives along with unresolved conflicts lead to problematic behaviour.

The client, with the therapist's help, can make repressed conflicts (the unconscious) conscious. The therapist will focus on the clients family dynamics and treatment is generally longer term.