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 […]

…..and the pursuit of Happiness

If you were a marketing executive you might seriously struggle to sell psychoanalysis.1 And one reason for this difficulty might be that psychoanalysis has never promised to make anyone happy.  At best, to paraphrase Freud, it can only hope to convert neurotic suffering into everyday misery.2  If anything psychoanalysis is likely to make one less […]