«In my experience, psychotherapy is:
a space to explore your problems in complete confidentiality
a time to make meaningful changes in your life
an opportunity to come into your own.»
What are the main differences between counselling and psychotherapy?
Broadly speaking, counselling helps to approach and solve specific problems in a concrete way and often lasts from 6 to 24 sessions; psychotherapy (or therapy) is an in-depth, longer treatment and is required to address issues that can be deep-seated and far-ranging in their effects.
Counselling focuses on support and targeted solutions. Therapy focuses on the ‘big picture’ and helps the person change in a meaningful and sustainable way.
What does counselling help with?
I have found that people choose counselling to work through issues such as:
- Work-related stress
- Management of emotions
- Divorce, separation and punctual relationship problems
- Some psychosexual issues
- Depression following a life event
These problems have in common, that they seem to be caused by a set of personal circumstances or a recent event. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
In which cases is psychotherapy more appropriate?
Psychotherapy is more appropriate for issues such as:
- Generalised anxiety
- Addiction and substance misuse
- Childhood-related problems
- Ongoing difficulties in creating and maintaining relationships
- Most psychosexual issues
- Management of emotions
- Chronic depression
- Chronic illness
What these issues have in common is that they seem to have “been around” for some time. You may have experienced them as low-grade symptoms.
What sort of outcomes can be expected from counselling and psychotherapy?
Achieving positive outcomes depends on:
- our ability to work together. It is one of the goals of the initial consultation to work this out.
- the nature and severity of the issue(s) that motivate you to seek help
- the appropriate length and regularity of treatment for the isue(s) you want to address
I have witnessed many positive outcomes such as:
- decreased or manageable anxiety
- improved and more stable mood
- increased self-confidence
- improved performance in the workplace, including leadership
- better management of substances, with lasting recoveries from addiction
- Increased self-awareness
- improved ability to manage emotions
- improved ability to be in fulfilling relationships
Generally, clients who have sought me for counselling have been successful in tackling their most pressing problems. People who engage in longer-term psychotherapy have a greater opportunity to grow as people and to build a capacity to address life’s challenges and make meaning of them.