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How therapy explores reality

From Mr Lawrence A. Suss

Sir: I was disappointed at how uninformed Brian Appleyard is about psychotherapy ("Nightmare cures for unhappiness", 3 May).

What his piece failed to recognise is that good psychoanalytic psychotherapy aims to hold both the inner world reality and the outer world reality of the client in play. In brief, it is often the interplay between these realities that forms the focus of the work of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The phrase I regularly hear used by psychotherapists is "reality testing" (see, for example, Charles Rycroft, A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, for a definition).

Mr Appleyard would have us believe that psychotherapists ignore outer reality but, unfortunately for him, he has fallen into his own trap by ignoring a real aspect of our work and believing his own inner fantasies.

Obviously anyone seeking psychotherapy should choose a registered therapist, and the UK Council for Psychotherapy has such a register.

Yours faithfully,



3 May