The Differences or Similarities Between Psychotherapy and Counselling
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Steve Earlam. MSc. Dip HE. MNCS (Accd). MFDAP
9th November, 2010
Both are often considered interchangeable and overlap occurs in many instances. Counselling may be offered in certain circumstances as part of the psychotherapy process and a counsellor may work with clients in a psychotherapeutic way.
Probably the main differences between the two approaches lies in the time required for the client to experience benefits. Counselling for example may offer brief treatment options exploring behaviour modification whereas psychotherapy is concerned more with long-term association with therapy exploring emotional difficulties.
It may be something about the labelling that appeals more to prospective clients, counselling may appear less intrusive and more acceptable, particularly if some one is looking for short-term benefit.
- Counselling helps people to identify crises and problems in their life and encourages them to take positive steps to address them.
- Counselling is a short-term process that encourages people to understand and change their behaviour.
- It is probably the best option for people who understand the concept of well-being and for someone who is perhaps more adapt at problem solving.
- Psychotherapy is more likely to help people with psychological problems that have built up over a long period of time; it helps people to understand their thoughts, feelings and actions more clearly.
- Psychotherapy helps people identify emotional issues and uncover the reasons for problems and difficulties.
Related articles from our experts
Fiona Goldman, BACP Registered CounsellorJanuary 17th, 2017
Tom KeelyJanuary 16th, 2017
SUSAN STUBBINGS Counsellor, Supervisor, Group facilitator Registered MBACPJanuary 17th, 2017
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.