Counselling generally refers to short-term consultations while psychotherapy typically refers to longer-term treatment and support. Counselling generally identifies and responds to present and current issues that may be easily resolved on the conscious level, whereas psychotherapy looks deeper. It is more intensive and extensive in exploring a person's psychological history. In other words, counselling is more focused with practical and/or immediate issues and outcomes while psychotherapy is more concerned with helping a person understand their life in a profound and reflective manner, and to develop insight and increase self awareness.
Counselling usually assists a client to process strong emotions such as grief or anger, deal with immediate causes of stress and anxiety, clarify values and identify options when managing important personal or professional decisions, manage conflict within relationships, develop better interpersonal communication skills, or intentionally change unproductive thoughts and behaviors.
Psychotherapy, on the other hand, is an evolutionary process that helps a personal look at long-standing attitudes, thoughts and behaviors that have resulted in the current quality of one's life and relationships. It is a process that goes much deeper to uncover root causes of problems, resulting in more dramatic or lasting changes in perspective regarding oneself, others and life experiences. The overall aim of psychotherapy is to facilitate a process that empowers the individual by freeing the person from the grip of unconscious triggers or impulses through increased self-awareness.
There are times during the course of treatment and support that both approaches are needed, depending on the individual and their personal goals, time and ability to access continuing sessions; to find out more discuss with your therapist or counsellor.
*This content was resourced from australiacounselling.com.au.
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