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The “Intensive Psychotherapy Unit” created by LeChol Nefesh will operate within an existing mental health facility (i.e. outpatient clinics, daycare centers, etc.). The basic treatment which will be proposed to the patients will comprise of 2-3 psychotherapy sessions per week for 3 years.

Management of the unit:

The unit will be managed by a psychoanalyst who identifies with the vision and goals of L’Chol Nefesh. He will be committed to implement them, to work with complete transparency and cooperation both with the organization and with the manager of the facility. In addition, he will have background experience in:

  • intensive long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with severely disturbed patients, both as therapist and supervisor
  • managing and coping with regressed states, such as lapses into psychosis or suicidal behavior
  • integrating intensive long term psychotherapy with pharmacological treatment and psychosocial interventions
  • working and managing staff members in a public mental health facility

The staff of psychotherapists within the unit will comprise of mental health therapists (psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and social workers) with appropriate training in psychotherapy. They will be willing to train in implementing intensive long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with severely disturbed patients. The candidates which will be found suitable by the manager of the unit and the board of the organization, will subsequently be interviewed by the manager of the mental care facility.

  • The therapists will commit to working 15 hours per week for at least 3 years.
  • The working hours will be divided as follows:
  • 10 hours of psychotherapy
  • 2 hours of individual supervision
  • 1 ½ hours clinical or theoretical seminar (which will be open to the whole staff of the facility)
  • 11/2 hours staff meetings (unit and facility)

The patients who will be referred to the unit will be interviewed by the manager and the therapist in order to establish his/her mental condition and suitability to commit and undergo intensive psychoanalytic therapy.

Follow up and research:
The organization will provide for research and follow-up of the patients. Research will center on progress and well-being of the patient and will evaluate the financial benefits of the treatment, also from the point of view of health insurance companies. Results of the research will be made public and presented.

Intensive long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a derivative of Psychoanalysis devised by Sigmund Freud one hundred years ago, but developed continuously and radically since then. Patients attend two to three fifty minute sessions weekly, usually for several years. During treatment patients will be working with their therapist to build a therapeutic alliance based on basic trust, which will thereafter allow them to examine and to explore unconscious conflicts of feeling, emotion and phantasy that are at the root of their symptoms and the problems that are troubling them.

Psychoanalytic theory suggests that it is by no means only genetic and constitutional factors that make up the personality. Other central influences include the experience of birth, of the early relationships with parents, of sexuality, of love and hate, of traumas, of deprivations, and of loss and death. These crucial experiences worked over and lived out in the core relationships of the family, lay down patterns in the mind of feeling, phantasy and relationship – patterns which provide unconscious templates, or models of relationships. Such unconscious versions of relationships are often at the root of the problems which lead people to seek help.

The length of treatment, the regularity of sessions and the unique therapeutic relationship established between patient and therapist, provide a setting and a holding environment within which these unconscious patterns can be brought into awareness and worked on with a view to change. Also the relationship with the therapist which is influenced inevitably and powerfully by the patient’s unconscious ways of behaving becomes in itself a central area of study, enabling light to be thrown on the patient’s patterns of relationship in the immediacy of the sessions.

The work of intensive long term psychoanalytic psychotherapy is long and arduous, for both patient and therapist. When successful, however, it can be a unique and profound experience that often leads to long-term development in close relationships, work and creativity. Success depends on both therapist and patient, the quality of their joint work, and on their ability to give in to the full length of time which is needed to allow the therapeutic process reach its full potential.