What's the difference between Psychotherapy & Counselling?


Both psychotherapy and Counselling involve sharing your issues, concerns and wishes with a trained therapist in a private setting to help support you at times of challenge and change in your life.


Counselling often involves helping people to cope with a change in circumstances or day to day issues that arise in our lives. Some issues are specific and may involve grieving for a lost love one, experiencing anxiety or depression, struggling with a difficult relationship or coping at work. Other people may come with more general concerns or a feeling that something isn't right. The time it takes depends upon the needs of the client and the severity of the presenting problem. Counsellors use their interpersonal skills to form a relationship with the client based upon respect, regard and an empathetic awareness of what the client is going through. Examining the issues together to reach a shared understanding, setting goals, developing strategies and planning for the future are some of the steps taken. Exploring problems in a safe and supportive setting in the company of a non-judgmental person can help to foster improved health and well being.


Psychotherapy is often more long term in approach where a client is seeking to make changes and adjustments to aspects of their personality or sense of self. It can often be more exploratory and less defined in terms of dealing with a specific life circumstance or issue. Both psychotherapists and counsellors use psychological theories and techniques to underpin their therapeutic work with a client.