Psychiatrists are trained in medicine and go on to specialise in psychiatry. They treat patients with severe mental disorders and may prescribe drugs and refer for clinical treatment, including residential care. Some psychiatrists also work as psychotherapists (qv).
Based on the theories of Freud, that repressed childhood conflicts, if unresolved, manifest themselves in anxiety and depression in later life. The aim of psychoanalysis is to bring repressed feelings to a conscious level. It's a protracted process usually seen as suitable for severe personal distress. Between three and five sessions a week for up to five years is average. Psychoanalysis is not available on the NHS and costs approximately pounds 50 per hour.
! Institute of Psychoanalysis, 63 New Cavendish Street, London WlM 7RD (0171 580 4952).
Psychosynthesis: A form of psychoanalysis which distinguishes between a higher and a lower consciousness. The aim is to synthesise the two in the belief that the lower unconscious harbours repressed feelings and neuroses and our higher unconscious is our spiritual dimension. The belief is that unconnected these two "selves" can lead to psychological pain but merged people experience energy and well-being. Suitable for people with persistent low-level unhappiness. An initial six-week assessment period and then the time scale is agreed by therapist and client. Gaining recognition within the NHS but still mostly private. Cost pounds 10-pounds 40 per hour.
! Institute of Psychosynthesis, 65a Watford Way, London NW4 3AQ (0181 202 4525)
A generic term, from the Greek words "soul" and "healing", for talking therapy in which the relationship with the therapist is central. Through this relationship, clients learn to see damaging patterns of behaviour and by experiencing feelings towards the therapist - a process known as transference - have the opportunity of resolving conflicts. There are many different types of psychotherapy including Freudian-based, humanistic and behavioural approaches. At best psychotherapy can make a considerable difference to how we feel and how we function but the same approach will not suit everyone. One caveat: this is an unregulated profession which means anybody can call themselves a therapist, but there is the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy with which reputable training institutes register.
! British Association of Psychotherapists, 37 Mapesbury Road, London, NW2 4HJ (0181 452 9823)
Personal Construct Therapy: A client's own perceptions and ideas are used to help them restructure the way they perceive themselves with the aim of bringing about a change in outlook. It is used for depression, addiction and personal issues. A fixed number of sessions is agreed. Can be available on NHS but mostly in the private sector. Costs from pounds 30 per hour.
! Centre for Personal Construct Psychology, The Sail Loft, Mulberry Quay, Falmouth, Cornwall TRll 3HD (01326 314871)
Analytic Psychotherapy: combines theories of psychoanalysis with psychotherapeutic practices. The relationship between the therapist and client is used to expose habitual and damaging patterns of behaviour, wishes and fears, and through self-understanding offers the chance of transformation. Seen as a less intense version of psychoanalysis. Average attendance is twice a week over two years. It can be had individually or in a group. Sometimes available on the NHS. Private fees between pounds 20-pounds 70 per session.
! Centre for Psychoanalytical Psycho-therapy, 99 Holmleigh Road, London N16 5QG (0181 800 8329)
Transpersonal Therapy: this word was adopted by Carl Jung in 1917 and has come to be known as an umbrella term for therapeutic and psychological approaches that share a spiritual view. Central to the theory is that life has purpose and meaning and the therapeutic quest is to find one's essential self and place within the collective unconscious which unites us. …