Counselling or Psychotherapy?
While people often use counselling and psychotherapy interchangeably, these terms do not refer to the same thing. However, many professionals offer both.
Counselling is a general term. Counselling often refers to talk therapy. In a typical counselling session, a client will talk through recent stressful life situations and seeks insight and guidance from the counsellor to create change. Counselling tends to focus on resolving current life challenges rather than deeper thinking patterns, feelings or behaviour.
Drawing upon specific psychological theories, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, psychotherapy addresses current challenges and changes deeper patterns. With Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the psychotherapist will focus on thoughts, feelings and behaviours triggered by recent stressful events. The psychotherapist will likely also focus on enduring unhelpful thinking patterns, core beliefs and longstanding patterns of behaviour. Psychotherapists, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapists, often have specialized training to increase competency to work in specific areas (e.g., anxiety and depression).
Am I a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?
I am psychotherapist and a counsellor. My graduate school training provides me with the skills to be a general counsellor. However, I mainly use my additional training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help people with anxiety and depression. I work with the entire person – whether it is one recent stressful event or a lifetime – I rely on the foundation of my training to help you achieve your goals.
When you look for a professional counsellor or psychotherapist, it is important to look at their education, treatment approach and areas of expertise. As essential as these elements are to the success of treatment, it is also vital that you have a strong connection that allows you to work towards your goals.