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Psychotherapy or Psychology, Psychiatry or Psychoanalysis what is the difference?


Psychotherapy is based on the therapeutic process and interpersonal relationship that exists between the patient and the therapist that is supported by an explicit contract of care and ethics. The patients who consult a psychotherapist most often suffer from psychological emotional problems in relation with to others or to themselves and often of a depressive nature.

The Psychotherapist is trained to seek and to trigger some unconscious emotions within yourself through theoretical approaches and theories so that you can make changes in a sustainable way so you may be able to gain some insights and discover some tools transmitted through the therapeutic relationship. Tools and insights that hopefully you will be able to recognize and use well after the completed therapy.

There are several schools of therapy (Humanist, Psychodynamic, Psychoanalytic, Cognitive-Behavioural (CBT), Existential approaches). Psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with other types of therapeutic intervention such as taking medication for example. Studies have been done to show that a therapy is conducted one session a week and sometimes twice a week in the case of pronounced anxiety.

The title of psychotherapist in France is regulated and protected to distinguish it from the title of psychologist, in United Kingdom psychotherapists are members accredited and validated by the code of ethics of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). This means that all psychotherapists in the UK as Members and Accredited by the BACP / UKCP have been the subject of personal therapy, has validated a minimum of 450 hours of therapy with patients and is supervised on a regular basis.


Psychology is defined as the scientific study of behaviour. Psychology is based on the study and empirical knowledge on psychic facts such as the behaviour of a person or a group on their way of thinking, acting and reacting to certain events or doing things. Psychologists conduct psychological assessments such as personality and IQ tests. Only the psychologist is trained and empowered to serve these psychometric tests. The psychologist works mainly in schools or other groups and uses models to help formulate assessments.

The psychologist's interventions are based on a variety of practices such as psychological counselling, assessment, the main tool being the interview that can refer patients to the psychotherapist or psychiatrist best suited to their needs. Psychologists have a Cognitive-Behavioural module or other theoretical approach of psychotherapy that is part of their training but they cannot appropriate the title of psychotherapist, this title is reserved and protected in France. The British Psychological Society (BPS) validates psychologists in the UK.


Psychiatry is a medical speciality dealing with mental health disorders. The psychiatrist or the Neuro-psychiatrist is a medical specialist in psychiatry, his function is to diagnose the neurological problems of cognitive or behavioural and affective state of mind of the patients and as treatment psychiatrists can prescribe drugs such as anti-depressants or other anxiolytics and practice therapy.

Pedo-Psychiatry is specialized psychiatry for the psychotherapeutic treatment of children and adolescents.


Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques related to the study of the unconscious mind, which together form a method of treatment for mental-health disorders. The discipline was established in the early 1890s by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud and stemmed partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Psychoanalysis is based on multiple theories and conceptions (Complex of Oedipus, Dream Studies, Missed Acts, Impulses...) with foundations such as the Unconscious / Super-Ego / Ego or Eros and Thanatos ... In Psychoanalysis we consider that some of our actions perceived as 'involuntary' or 'incoherent' are however not due to chance and that our dreams, our failed acts, our lapses, will in fact be successful acts that may be an interpretation of our unconscious and represent the satisfaction of a desire. Psychoanalysis is practiced for the patient lying on the couch for several sessions a week. Psychoanalysis was later developed in different directions, mostly by students of Freud such as Alfred Adler and Carl Jung, and by neo-Freudians such as Erich Fromm, Jacques Lacan. Freud retained the term psychoanalysis for his own school of thought. The basic tenets of psychoanalysis include:

1. A person's development is determined by often forgotten events in early childhood, rather than by inherited traits alone;

2. Human behaviour and cognition are largely determined by irrational drives that are rooted in the unconscious;

3. Attempts to bring those drives into awareness triggers resistance in the form of Defense Mechanisms, particularly repression;

4. Conflicts between conscious and unconscious material can result in mental disturbances such as neurosis, neurotic traits, anxiety and depression;

5. Unconscious material can be found in dreams and unintentional acts, including mannerisms and slips of the tongue;

6. Liberation from the effects of the unconscious is achieved by bringing this material into the conscious mind through therapeutic intervention;

7. The "centrepiece of the psychoanalytic process" is the transference, whereby patients relive their infantile conflicts by projecting onto the analyst feelings of love, dependence and anger.

During psychoanalytic sessions, which typically last 50 minutes and ideally take place 4–5 times a week, the patient (the "analysant") may lie on a couch, with the analyst often sitting just behind and out of sight. The patient expresses his or her thoughts, including free associations, fantasies and dreams, from which the analyst infers the unconscious conflicts causing the patient's symptoms and character problems. Through the analysis of these conflicts, which includes interpreting the transference and countertransference (the analyst's feelings for the patient), the analyst confronts the patient's pathological defences to help the patient gain insight.


What do we do in the first session?

During the first assessment session, I will ask some questions about yourself and at the end of it we both will decide whether or not our relationship might help you to address issues you wish to change, understand and master better.

How long are the sessions?

Sessions last 45 minutes, once a week. However during challenging periods, clients may benefit from twice weekly sessions. Sessions can be organised over the phone if you are travelling at times by appointment.

You may need some time to think and process this first session and decide to get back to me at a later stage.

What guidelines do you follow?

I am fully accredited from the BACP & UKRCP therefore I work in accordance with the BACP Code of Ethics (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and UKRCP United Kingdom for Counselling and Psychotherapy).

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