With a wide variety of talking therapies available, it’s not always easy to know what the differences are between them. In practice, the distinction between counselling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is not always as clear cut as it seems and varies depending on the practitioner.
Broadly speaking, while short-term approaches such as CBT and some forms of counselling focus on resolving your immediate problem, psychoanalysts believe that your symptoms can be a manifestation of a deeper malaise and that even if these are “cured” the problem is likely to return in a different guise. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy looks at your life in more detail to think about what might be supporting your suffering. This can involve talking about your history and early family relationships, and considering how the wider social environment has had an impact on who you are.
Hundreds of thousands of books and articles have been written about psychoanalysis. If you are interested if learning more, you could start with one of these.