…between a Psychoanalyst, a Psychiatrist and a Clinical Psychologist?
Psychotherapists may be trained in any one, or more, of the following disciplines.
Psychoanalysis sometimes known as ‘the talking cure’, has its roots in the ideas of Sigmund Freud. It is a therapeutic approach that takes your mind and your experience as the focus of exploration. Encouraging you to reflect and contemplate, it builds up a perception of your internal world and psychic reality. Through the technique of ‘free association’, access is gained to unconscious ideas and feelings with the aim of enabling you to manage your thoughts and feelings in a way which alleviates your problems and lead a more fulfilling life.
Psychiatry is a medical-based model and practitioners first qualify in medicine and then specialise. Those people who have a sudden debilitating (psychotic) breakdown or suffer from schizophrenia will need to consult a psychiatrist in the first instance. Psychiatrists are the only mental health practitioners qualified to prescribe medication.
Clinical Psychology is the scientific study of why humans behave the way they do. Specifically, it explores how people think, how they act, and how they interact with their environment and with each other. A major difference from psychoanalysis is the emphasis on assessing large numbers of people in order to build theories about individuals. Other areas include Educational, Occupational and Forensic Psychology. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is derived from Clinical Psychology models