Why Freud Can Help You with Depression. ...but Not a Fear of Heights; Do You Need Psychoanalysis or Hypnotherapy? Lie on the Couch - with Our Guide
Byline: Matthew Barbour
Feel like you might need therapy? You're not alone - about a third of Britons will experience mental health problems every year, and one in ten will be referred to a specialist psychiatric service. Today more than half of GP surgeries provide such help, and there are 300,000 registered psychotherapists in England alone.
The types of therapy on offer vary greatly in their methods, and in what they can achieve. So which one is right for your particular problems? Here, experts reveal the merits and shortcomings of the most popular approaches.
THE THEORY: One of the first types of psychotherapy, developed by neurologist Sigmund Freud in the late 19th Century. Psychoanalysts believe most mental activity is unconscious and that mental illness is caused by repressed traumatic childhood memories. Patients are encouraged to talk about their dreams, thoughts, memories and feelings. By doing this, they understand their emotional conflicts and find resolution.
GOOD FOR: Depression or anxiety, sexual problems or physical symptoms without an obvious underlying cause. 'This can benefit those who are plagued by compulsions or feelings of isolation and loneliness,' says Phillip Hodson, a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
WHO MIGHT NOT BENEFIT: Schizophrenics, those suffering from psychosis or phobias. 'If the client is paranoid, delving deep with psychoanalysis can stir up negative emotions. It might give you a greater understanding of your life, but analysis won't necessarily bring about change, such as overcoming a fear of heights, as you're not actively encouraged to alter your behaviour.'
COST PRIVATELY: [pounds sterling]35 to [pounds sterling]60 a session.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.psychoanalysis.org.uk
NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING (NLP)
THE THEORY: Patients are told to focus on what they want to achieve, and discuss how they might go about it. If the problem involves others, role play is encouraged.
GOOD FOR: Those wanting more direction in their lives, relationship conflicts or with self-esteem problems. Professor Tony Roth, joint course director in clinical psychology at University College London, says: 'Advocates say NLP can enhance relationships and help develop self-management skills.'
WHO MIGHT NOT BENEFIT: Those with clinical depression, serious emotional problems or phobias. 'No clinical trials have found it is effective treatment for severe mental health problems,' Prof Roth says.
COST PRIVATELY: [pounds sterling]40 to [pounds sterling]100 a session.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.anlp.org
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)
THE THEORY: The therapist asks the patient what they want to achieve, then sets goals and gives clear guidelines on how to make the changes desired. Patients are given breathing exercises and phrases to repeat so they can replace thoughts, emotions, or physical feelings they don't want to have with ones that they do.
GOOD FOR: Phobias, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders and eating disorders. …