the difference between counselling and psychotherapy

I often see or hear questions about what the difference is between counselling and therapy. The answer is perhaps a bit disappointing – there’s not really much difference! It can be generally said that counselling tends to look at immediate issues (what’s going on right now and how do I handle it?) and therapy tends take a longer view (I have always had these types of problems and I don’t understand why). In practice, though, they are usually interchangeable. Whatever’s going on right now can often be upsetting because it reminds you of something that happened before, and whatever’s been going on over a long time often brings problems into the present moment.

I’ve often found that many clients start out looking at the issues they’re having in the here and now, and then think about things that happened to them before, process those things, and then the resolution to the present problem tends to feel much more obvious. None of that means it’s easy – change and healing is always easier said than done. Counselling and therapy are journeys – sometimes they’re short hops, and other times it can feel like an endless hike. The counsellor and therapist’s role is be a companion on that journey, walking alongside you and perhaps noticing a different route or things that are getting in your way, or just being available to listen without judgement when things feel impossibly difficult. If any of that sounds useful to you, consider getting in touch with me to talk about it!

%d bloggers like this: