Micropsychoanalysis: a psychoanalysis “under a microscope” - logo

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During the nineteen-fifties, Silvio Fanti tried to overcome certain deficiencies of the classic psychoanalytic method. He reconsidered some abandoned aspects of Freud’s practice and extended the duration of sessions.

Progressively, he came to establish that quasi-daily sessions of three hours help the analysand to relax, favour his or her associative verbalization, overcoming his or her resistances, and lead to a more physiological solution to his or her neurotic conflicts.

This is the origin of long sessions, which represent the cornerstone of the micropsychoanalytic construction.

The method of free associations was conceived by Freud to reveal the unconscious, its content, the forces animating it and their principles. The analysand lets himself go and puts into words what comes to mind, completely disregarding any rational logic and judgement. The ideas are expressed, developed and connected freely and eventually find their unconscious correspondents.

Fanti amplified the associative method extending the duration of sessions and keeping their frequency to a minimum of five sessions per week. Thus, long sessions were born, serving as technical foundation for micropsychoanalysis.

The notion of long sessions, therefore, implies two complementary and indivisible parameters: duration and frequency. Experience shows that three-hour sessions, five times per week, provide optimal conditions for verbalization and associative elaboration.

Three-hour sessions prove to be physiological: the analysand has time to relax, to freely associate, to talk about his life, describing it in great detail and letting emotions flow. Evoked themes become gradually clearer and get linked together, based on reciprocities and equivalences, articulating to the derivatives of the unconscious. This scheme of bringing the unconscious into consciousness takes about 2:30 and 3:00 hours.

The quasi-daily frequency of sessions ensures continuity of associative dynamics. Elaborations made during a session are resumed and developed during the sessions of the day after or the following days. On the other hand, some current experiences, including dreams, contacts with family, social or professional contacts (email, phones) can be integrated into the life story of the analysand from day to day, in particular they enter his or her repetitive patterns.


Long sessions

psychoanalysis in long sessions

Work that can be done
in tranches

Micropsychoanalysis is normally carried out in three to five tranches, of six to eight weeks each, corresponding to the main stages of the self-knowledge. These tranches are separated by sedimentation pauses of six to twelve months duration.

One tranche alone may be enough to make a life assessment, to balance a slight neurosis, to relieve a mourning or stress, to enlighten about a relevant choice to be taken (wedding, pregnancy, divorce, professional changes . . .).