That grand sorcerer, Sigmund Freud, took the stuff of the unconscious, the material of suppressed desires and early sexual drives, the filmy gauze of dreams and mixed them into the healing art of psychotherapy.
Today, the sorceror has many apprentices. Actually, San Francisco-based psychotherapy Gerald Amada says, there are 100,000 psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurses and all manner of counselors, representing about 250 schools of psychotherapy.
These range in method and ideology from classical psychoanalysis, in which, amazing as it seems, asks the troubled patient to literally scream away infantile angst.
But what really is psychotherapy? In a nutshell, it's the "intricate interaction between two or more complex personalities," one seeking help, the other providing it in a confidential, supportive setting.