Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing.(BACP, 2010)
Psychotherapy and Counselling
‘Psychotherapy’ and ‘Counselling’ are terms that are often used interchangeably. Some practitioners may choose to use both terms when referring to themselves. Although they are very similar (both practices share the goal of relieving psychological symptoms and enabling individuals to live more fulfilled lives), there are some subtle differences.
‘Counselling’ is generally used to denote a process that is briefer than psychotherapy and is mostly focused upon behavioural patterns and often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation.
‘Psychotherapy’ is generally a longer-term treatment, which focuses more on gaining insight into the underlying causes of emotional problems. Its focus is on the client’s thought processes and ways of being in the world, rather than specific problems.
Generally speaking, psychotherapy requires more skill from the practitioner than counselling. Psychotherapy training requires a longer, more rigorous academic and clinical focus than counselling training. Whilst a psychotherapist is qualified to provide counselling, a counsellor may not possess the necessary training and skills to provide psychotherapy. In actual practice there may be quite a bit of overlap between psychotherapy and counselling.
If you are thinking about seeking therapy, it is perhaps because something has shifted in your thoughts, feelings, or behaviour that is uncomfortable for you, or because you have decided to explore a long-standing problem or issue. We often want someone to listen without judging or taking over and telling us what to do. Some of us worry that talking to friends or family will burden them with our worries or problems. Therefore we need time and freedom to explore our problems and find our own solutions, work out what we need to do or where we need to go next.
Talking problems and anxieties through with a trained, qualified and experienced person can usually help to get clarification and resolution.
Because therapy is such an individual process, there is no way to tell at the beginning how many sessions you would need or how long you would choose to stay in therapy.
This is your ‘journey’. I am privileged to be part of this journey with you.