It is a way to use your mind in the service of getting to know yourself more deeply and meaningfully. It is a powerful and simple way to help you gather thoughts and feelings that may mostly be unconscious, most of the time, and bring them together in ways that bring you relief, a sense of being empowered and in love with your life.
Over a hundred years ago, the person often cited as the father of Psychoanalysis and Psychology, Sigmund Freud, discovered the use of “free association”. He found that encouraging patients to share their thoughts, feelings and fantasies unedited, allowed psychological blindspots to become clear. He referred to this use of free association as the fundamental rule in psychoanalysis.
Today, free association remains an important element in psychoanalytic work, and is largely unchanged. It is deceptively challenging to really say whatever comes to mind without editing or screening what we say. We are expert censors and editors. We edit not only when speaking to others, but also when speaking to ourselves! We may have strong feelings about “being appropriate” or polite. We can worry about being judged, criticized, and/or misunderstood.
As we, you and I, come to understand where you might be steering away from revealing certain thoughts or feelings and you come to trust me and the process, the freedom to say whatever comes to mind deepens and expands. In this way we can recognize areas that you never knew you never knew about. These are the blindspots I referred to. In our work on your free associations, which might also include the use of dreams, we bring these blurry or obscured areas of concern into focus, think about them, and work them through.
At the end of the day, the goal is for you to develop expertise in tracking and being conscious of your free associations, and recognize that they will lead you to your unconscious. It is a 'way of being' that you will be able to rely on independently, as you feel increasingly connected and at ease with yourself.