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Psychotherapy or counselling? Discover the language used to describe processes of psychological change vs. help with here-and-now problems.

What is the difference Between Psychotherapy and Counselling?

There is much debate around the terms 'psychotherapy' and 'counselling'.

Even counsellors and psychotherapists themselves tend to have different views in what defines these two forms of talking therapy.

What seems clear, though, is that common to both psychotherapy and counselling is the need for relief from problems - whether that relief is from a particular circumstance or situation, or relief from feeling a certain way.

There are some differences, however, and these are listed below

Psychotherapy or Counselling?. Tree of Growth

Psychotherapy and Counselling Compared

Psychotherapy tends to:

  • Last longer than counselling
  • Involve a deep exploration of a person's way of being in the world.
  • Often include a focus on early life experience
  • Explore hidden (unconscious) feelings and experiences
  • Include a perception of the therapy as a transformative or transitional experience

  • Psychotherapy or Counselling?. Pink Budding Flower

    Counselling, on the other hand. tends to:

  • Have a brief duration
  • Explore how you feel about your situation
  • Deal with issues that are obstacles to achieving goals and expectations

  • Do I Need Counselling or Psychotherapy?

    In reality, during the course of your therapy you may find both counselling and psychotherapy to be beneficial.

    It may be that we will spend some time looking at particular situations and some time exploring early life or forgotten-about experiences.

    We can work out together what you want and need from your sessions at the beginning of your therapy and at various stages during it.

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