Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Mental health centre

Mental health specialists

A number of different types of doctors, specialists and therapists may be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

In most cases, a GP will make a referral to an NHS specialist, or may be able to treat some mental health conditions.

Some therapies such as counselling may be available directly without a GP’s referral if paying privately:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapist (CBT): The therapist helps to change people's attitudes and their behaviour through focusing on our thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes and how these relate to the way we behave as a way of dealing with emotional problems. CBT is available on the NHS in some areas.
  • Psychologists: Psychologists are trained to provide professional counselling on psychological and emotional issues. They can specialise in areas such as marital counselling, relaxation therapy, stress management, or sex therapy.
  • Psychotherapists and psychoanalysts: Psychoanalysts follow Sigmund Freud's theories that painful childhood memories contained in the subconscious are the cause of emotional disturbances. Psychoanalysts are similar to psychologists because they usually deal with emotional issues. Psychoanalytic therapy relies on the principle of transference, that is, a pattern of both conscious and unconscious feelings and thoughts about the analyst that reflect similar feelings and thoughts about other important figures in the patient's life (for example, parents). The goal of the treatment is to make the unconscious conscious so that the patient can begin to recognise maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that are no longer relevant to their current life circumstances. While psychotherapy is usually performed on a weekly to monthly schedule, psychoanalytic sessions may be conducted several times a week long term.
  • Psychiatrists: These professionals specialise in the treatment of mental, emotional, or behavioural problems. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications and may establish therapy sessions to treat the patient.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 12, 2014

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets for beautiful hair
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
nappy being changed
How to change your baby's nappy
woman using moisturizer
Causes and home solutions
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
woman with cucumbers on eyes
How to banish dark circles and bags
probiotic shakes
Help digestion
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting