CRACKING UP? It's no joke if you feel you can't cope with the problems of high-stress living in the Nineties. Every week more than eight million viewers tune into ITV's glossy psychiatric soap, Shrinks, to see how the experts battle with the problems we all share.
Sun writer MAY KEENAN tested out real-life shrinks around the country. Posing as a stressed-out working girl, plagued by problems to a range of psychotherapists, analysts and psychologists. Here is her verdict on a Mind-mending experience.
Shrink: John Hudson, Bristol
Cost: £45 for 50 minutes
John was she only shrink I visited who had a couch - but it looked like an armchair until you leaned back. His bedside manner was superb. He made notes and asked tactful but probing questions. I was impressed by his quick summing-up of my character.
Smartly dressed and in his late 30s John was a teacher until qualifying as a psychotherapist eight years ago. He specialises in hypnotherapy
As I lay on the couch, he attached a machine to my arm to test my relaxation level.
At first, I was very tense but as John played soothing music and spoke to me softly, I relaxed completely. Although I was in a trance, I heard him asking me to recall my childhood and important events in my life. After 20 minutes John brought me out of my trance.
I felt refreshed and relaxed. He told me I would need up to ten sessions.
John was a combination of concern and capability. I was impressed by his business-like office, and his high tech equipment - and the couch. I left feeling relaxed and confident I would benefit from more sessions.