A psychoanalyst is a mental health professional who practices psychoanalysis, a therapeutic approach that was developed by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis is a method of treating mental health conditions by exploring the unconscious mind and the underlying psychological conflicts that may be contributing to a person's symptoms.
Psychoanalysts typically use techniques such as free association, in which the patient is encouraged to speak freely about their thoughts and feelings, and interpretation, in which the psychoanalyst helps the patient understand the underlying meaning of their thoughts and behaviors.
Psychoanalysts may work with individuals, couples, or groups, and sessions are typically conducted in a private setting in which the patient lies on a couch and the psychoanalyst sits behind them, out of sight.
Overall, a psychoanalyst is a mental health professional who uses the techniques of psychoanalysis to help patients explore and understand their unconscious mind and resolve underlying psychological conflicts.