The Couch

"I'm much more trusting and more able to enjoy life. But also I don't get depressed. I used to get terribly depressed. I fought with depression all my life, and after analysis, that stopped. It made an enormous difference to my professional life. I'm much more able to move on. I just feel great. I'm still a little anxious, but I'm more able to hold it and deal with it."

- Anon, psychotherapist

The couch has played a part in analytic treatment since its earliest days, with patients lying down, faced away from the analyst.

The idea behind it is that, in order to encourage free association – saying whatever comes into your mind during an analytic session, without censorship – it is easier to be in this reclining position, and not facing your analyst.

You might find some similarity in the way it can be easier to share your feelings with a friend or relative when not looking straight at them, say when you are sitting next to them in the car.

Although some people find that lying down helps them to get into a space conducive to the analytic process, others find it more helpful to sit in a chair. This is something you can discuss with your psychoanalyst.