Psychoanalysis seeks to understand the history of a client and the meanings, conscious and unconscious, that the client gives to his experiences. Meanings, including symbolic meanings, of words, symptoms and actions are sought. Trauma or intense stress has triggered severe negative emotions within the person. Depending on how the person views or interprets the traumatic or unbearable experience, the person reacts protectively in ways which may be seen as symptoms of a person with schizophrenia (Read & Dillon, 2013). The therapist attempts to help the patient understand the psychological basis and meanings of symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions (Steinman, 2009).
Psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis can be helpful, but studies have been inconclusive as to how helpful, and in what circumstances (Lotterman, 2011).