Many people come to therapy confused with the different forms of mental heath treatment on offer. Common questions are: What is the difference between Psychiatry and Psychology? Psychiatry is a specialization of medicine. Psychiatrists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of mental disorders and often prescribe medication as part of the recommended treatment. Today pharmacology has come a long way in being able to offer medication to patients to greatly alleviate their burdensome symptoms. Psychology is a talk based therapy. Often recommended for short term treatment and specific complaints. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is often the prescribed approach Clinical Psychologists use. Typically this involves offering strategies to help a person out of negative patterns of thinking/feeling/behaviour. Evidence shows that it can be a relatively fast, effective way to help a person manage symptoms that once felt out of control. What is the difference between Counselling and Analytic Psychotherapy? Counselling is a talk based therapy. It is also often directive in it’s approach, and short term, to help people get back on their feet. For instance following the loss of a loved one, we may seek “Grief Counselling” to help us process that loss. Counselling can be helpful when one encounters a “bump” on the road and needs assistance processing it. Analytic Psychotherapy is a talk based therapy. It uses psychoanalytic principles of considering conscious and unconscious mental processes. This can be very helpful in the case of recurring persistent forms of mental suffering, such as repeated depression or anxiety issues. We examine together the repetition of symptoms and address the root cause. This has the advantage of providing lasting results when the suffering has persisted in spite of other treatments, or has come back after a period of being symptom free. What is the difference between Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis? Analytic Psychotherapy is a talk based therapy. It uses psychoanalytic principles of considering conscious and unconscious mental processes. This can be very helpful in the case of recurring persistent forms of mental suffering, such as repeated depression or anxiety issues. We examine together the repetition of symptoms and address the root cause. This has the advantage of providing lasting results when the suffering has persisted in spite of other treatments, or has come back after a period of being symptom free. Psychoanalysis or Analysis is a talk based therapy. Like Analytic Psychotherapy it considers conscious and unconscious mental processes. The method used is one of free association, whereby one is invited to say whatever is on their mind, opening the possibility to uncover deeper mental connections that have been previously buried or repressed over one’s life experience. Analysis is an extremely thorough process, one that addresses all aspects of our relationship with others and ourselves. It is a deeply personal way to get to fully understand and know ourselves. How long will it take? There is no prescribed time for addressing mental suffering. However, the sooner one seeks help and appropriate treatment, the sooner the chance for recovery will be. Some of the most common misconception is to believe that one does not need help or treatment as it may be perceived as a form of weakness or unnecessary indulgence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recognising that one is in pain and accepting that the best chance for recovery is to get help sooner rather than later, takes courage. Investing in one’s mental health is a strengthening process just like investing in one’s physical health. Therapy is used as a healing tool but also as a maintenance tool to keep one’s mental health in check when required. How much will it cost? We always consider one’s financial circumstances. Therapy should not become an added source of financial anxiety, so the fee is initially arranged on the basis of what can be afforded to encourage regular attendance. Cancelling or postponing sessions dilutes and slows down the process. Regularity is a key to getting results.