What Is The Difference Between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

What is the difference

Counselling and psychotherapy are talking-based therapies which work through the relationship between you and the therapist to help you develop a greater understanding within and about yourself and perhaps to make some changes in your life. I believe that respectfully and carefully listening to you, and have you feel really heard and understood, is a crucial part of this process. 

Professional counselling often refers to shorter-term treatment for a particular issue or concern and may be with an individual, couple or family. It may focus on relationships, workplace matters, stress, grief or loss, responding to illness, career goals or directions, parenting issues, crisis or conflict, as well as many other matters. In addition to the important skill of listening to you, counselling can help you clarify issues, explore options, develop strategies, and increase self-awareness. 

Psychotherapy usually refers to longer-term work on more complex issues that may be having a negative effect on a person’s life, with the aim of bringing about change at a fundamental level.

Psychotherapy involves working intensively with you to help you gain a deeper understanding of what makes you uniquely you and to overcome core issues or blocks which might be persistently disrupting your ability to flourish in your world. There are many different approaches to the work of psychotherapy but in all approaches the therapeutic relationship between you and your psychotherapist is of crucial importance.

How it works

The only way to really deal with whatever pain one is experiencing, is to go through it - not over it, around it or push it down - but through it; at the same time often the most difficult or unwelcome things that happen to us in life can also provide the greatest learning for us. 

It can take several meetings to adequately explore the reason you have sought counselling or psychotherapy.  Just a few sessions may be sufficient for some people to achieve their goals; for others the process can be much, or a little, longer. The important thing is that, it should be a collaborative partnership with your counsellor or psychotherapist.  There is no guru.  No one knows you as well as you know yourself.