Psychotherapy and the NHS: time for a rethink?

In the early 2000s I spent three years working as an honorary psychoanalytic psychotherapist in an NHS mental health trust as part of my analytic training. Back then, this was the time-honoured route to becoming a psychotherapist. What was particularly interesting about this experience was that I saw my first …

What is psychotherapy?

If you had asked this question one hundred years ago the answer would have been simple: psychotherapy was just another term for psychoanalysis – Freud’s ‘talking cure’.  Since that time, however it’s become increasingly difficult to define psychoanalysis itself let alone psychotherapy, of which there are now literally hundreds of …

Psychoanalysis?

It has to be said that psychoanalysis is rather different from other talking therapies.  In fact, strictly speaking it’s not a ‘therapy’ at all, although it can have therapeutic effects.  The term ‘therapy’ has an interesting etymology, and is often defined as ‘healing’.  Psychoanalysis, however, does not aim to heal.  …

On being lost for words

For me, this is, ultimately, what brings people to psychoanalysis.  What does this mean, i.e. to be lost for words?  Not being able to speak?  Maybe. Or is it rather a matter of being able to speak almost too well – except that nothing is really said at all? Many …