Counselling and psychotherapy are terms that are often used interchangeably and while they might be similar there are some differences.
In mental health the term ‘counselling’ is often used to denote a relatively brief treatment that focuses mainly on behaviour and actions.
‘Psychotherapy’ is more often a longer term treatment and focuses more on thought processes and those things that might be underlying your current behaviour, or how you are feeling. It can be used to gain deeper insight into emotional problems and is generally longer in duration.
Counselling often works in the present focusing on how the behaviours are impacting your current situation. Psychotherapy often moves between both present and past to explore the roots of particular issues.
In practice the two can overlap; as a general rule psychotherapy involves knowledge and skills that allow for deeper exploration. As a trained psychotherapist I am also qualified to provide counselling as well. In my way of working the two approaches are often blended depending on the particular place a client may be in.
Going to see a therapist is often associated with dealing with some crisis that has arisen in your life. However you do not have to be in crisis to attend a therapist. Attending a therapist is an opportunity to get to know yourself, for personal development and a tool for living in a more conscious, mindful and informed way.