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 patient for three years and […]

Should talking treatments aim to cure people?

One of the current obsessions in the world of talking treatments is the notion of ‘outcomes’ – preferably measurable ones. In the UK this is being led by the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme and is closely linked to the ideology of evidence-based practice. I use the term ‘ideology’ deliberately because there is […]

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 variants, and most of which […]