Psychoanalysis is a system of theories and psychotherapeutic techniques (i.e., talk therapy) based on the work of Sigmund Freud and his followers.
At the root of psychoanalysis is the Freudian theory that human behavior is motivated by unconscious desires, impulses, and conflicts of which we are not consciously aware. There have been many developments in psychoanalysis since this theory was first proposed, and several different models of psychoanalysis are now in use. A psychoanalyst helps their clients uncover these unconscious processes through the use of special techniques (e.g., free association, dream interpretation) that are meant to provide a window into the unconscious. Freudian theory proposes that as an individual gains insight into their unconscious motives, their emotional problems or symptoms are resolved.