03/07/2008 AT 04:30 PM EST
Who needs a shrink when you've got Justin Timberlake
In a new interview, Madonna
, 49, says collaborating with the "SexyBack" singer, 27, was sometimes so intense it felt like being in therapy. "We kind of had psychoanalytic sessions whenever we wrote songs. We'd sit down and start talking about situations. And then we'd start talking about issues or problems or relationships with people," Madonna tells Interview
magazine. "That was the only way, because you know, writing together with somebody is very intimate."
The two musicians, who worked on Madonna's new single "4 Minutes to Save the World," immediately clicked, she adds. "He's open and he's got talent. He's a songwriter. I haven't worked with a lot of songwriters where I'm instantly connected and start riffing and playing with the rhythm of the words. He's as interested in rhythm of words as the meaning of words. I enjoyed that process with him."