DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star MARCIA CROSS is a vocal advocate of therapy, because it helped her cope with her first major romantic break-up.

The 43-year-old actress turned to psychoanalysis in her early twenties to give her the emotional integrity and know-how to end an intense relationship.

Cross, who plays BREE VAN DE KAMP in the hit American TV show, was so impressed with her experience, she went on to practice one-on-one psychodynamic therapy in 2002 at the Maple Counselling Centre in Beverly Hills after studying the discipline at university.

She says, "I had to break-up with my first love and didn't know how to do it. I didn't want to hurt somebody. So I had therapy and saw the value of it.

"This idea that people should cope on our own is erroneous. You go to doctors for everything else, why not take care of our emotional health?"

24/04/2005 14:15