What is best for you? Psychotherapy or counselling

What is the difference between psychotherapy & counselling?

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological techniques to help clients to understand why they act and feel the way they do; it can help change, feelings, thoughts, or habits. To relieve symptoms of emotional distress or behavioural problems, and this can achieve higher levels of self-awareness and to help to uncover undeveloped capability.

There are many varieties of psychotherapeutic modalities and theoretical approaches (psychodynamic, behavioural, cognitive and others.

Counseling tends to stay with the clients present presenting issue in the here and now.

What is the difference between psychotherapy & counselling?

The difference is not as clear as you may think, simply put. Counselling is traditionally short term and based in the here and now. Psychotherapy is usually but not always longer term and often deals with the past and how that past has affected the way people think and feel. Many counsellors also do long term work and deal in the past, and many psychotherapists do short term work, so the two cross over, it has been suggested by some therapists that today there is no real distinction between them. That is why I use the term psychotherapy/counselling interchangeably and refer to myself as a therapist.

I find that with psychotherapy or counselling, when collaborating with clients in their present situation, therapists are unavoidably also working within the past; all people have combined experiences from their past living in the present day. As such we are a combination of past experiences and learned behaviours, and in that way the past will always influence our future, so even a counsellor working with the present-day situation will also be working with the clients past and present influences and future possibilities. Just like when psychotherapy tries to uncover the hidden unconscious drives behind the behaviours the counsellor is usually doing the same but in a different format.

I do not think that it matters what type of therapy or the kind of therapist that is important for progress and I do not think you can say psychotherapy is better than counselling, at the end of the day it all depends on the relationship and skill of the therapist. So, if you are looking for a therapist do not discriminate between the two because either of them could provide you with what you need.

This is always dependent on the client, some clients do not want to drag up past experiences and only wish to deal with the present day, and this wish must be respected by any therapist. For some people leaving the past behind is the only way to cope at that time, their experiences are just too painful to accept or manage at that moment, so leaving the pain in the past enables them a sort of respite until they can start to face it.

The past is like a shadow, always there.

As time goes on the past sometimes tends to catch up, influencing our internal makeup and interactions with other people and situations we meet. When we are affected by elevated levels of anxiety, it will be experienced in all three-time lines of our life, if we fear the recurrence of the experience from our past, we also fear it happening again now, today, and re-experiencing it in the future. So, in effect leaving the past behind for many is impossible, but we are not just talking about fears and anxiety, but also including in this is the role of self-defeating behaviours and our how we see ourselves and how that impacts on our self-esteem and flawed thinking, but on the positive side both counselling and psychotherapy can provide people with the therapeutic discovery that helps people find the answers in the here and now to redefine the past and start to move on.

Trying to leave the past behind is like trying to leave one’s shadow, you can run as fast and as far as you like but it is always with you. We all do the best we can with what we are born with and what we learn from life, all our life experiences are a combination of feelings and behaviours in an ever-changing external environment that has influenced all aspects of the life we live, seeking to leave behind elements of that experience will have a bearing on how we feel about ourselves and our future evolving needs.

Working together with a psychotherapist or counsellor you may change the very life you live; change the world you live in by changing how you think and feel in that world.

Are you running from your past? Do you need to stop running and face it.

Counselling online is growing fast and is available with this experienced therapist that supplies On-line psychotherapy and counselling from this website. You cannot change the past, but you can change how you see it, understand, and reframe it, and change your life.

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