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Free Association Therapy

History Of Free Association

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud encouraged his clients to say whatever came into their heads without inhibition. According to Freud, most thoughts, behaviours and actions are determined by your subconscious inner processes, which typically form during childhood. Freud developed the process of free association between 1892 and 1898, and his theory posits that everything you say is important because whatever needs to emotionally heal will bubble up from your deeper mind when you give it the time and space to do so.



How to Free Associate

Free association starts with the encouragement to spontaneously say whatever pops into your mind. It does not need to be a linear thought stream, just a voicing of what you intuitively want to say next. During a free association therapy session, you are welcome to share anything on your mind, such as memories, words, images, or daydreams. What you say won’t always make rational sense, and you might not immediately know why you are saying it, but that’s OK. The aim is to explore your inner world and observe the emotional and psychological patterns that want to come up.


Free Flow Talking

In a free association therapy session, you can freely speak your thoughts, without embarrassment. You are encouraged not to censor yourself and just say anything that comes to mind. It can be so interesting to share in this way. You might talk about your past, bring up random memories, or feel compelled to explore a specific period in your life without first knowing why. At the end of the session, we can look for patterns and themes together and take a deeper look at your subconscious growth edge to see what your next step is.


Listening for Your Next Growth Step

While trying free association, not every word, idea, or thought may make immediate sense. Yet, it is possible to discover deeper meaning or fresh insights by not censoring what you say. Rather than using your logical mind to talk about your life's story which is what most people do, you can discover the deeper themes of your life through spontaneous right-brained free-flow talking.


Free Association Writing

Free association writing involves writing thoughts down as they come to you - in a spontaneous and non-logical way. You could do this as a homework assignment between sessions. You are welcome to share what you've written before we meet again for your next therapy session. See Therapy Homework Guidelines HERE.


With Love,

Shelley

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