All psychotherapeutic processes ask you to think about yourself in different “risky” ways. Psychoanalysis asks you to analyze and reflect upon your feelings and your life.
This process stirs up all kinds of feelings and memories, some of which are distressing. Unexplored emotional issues that have become choked off tend to take on a life of their own. This does not mean that therapy is not “working.” The opposite is actually true. As you become less defended and more self-aware, you will begin to see yourself more honestly and feel more intensely.
As worn out modes of living begin to shift, it can feel frightening, and you may ask, “What will replace the familiarity of my old ways? An analyst believes something better will emerge and grow. Your authentic self and identity will be formed, clarified and refined.