Counselling, Psychotherapy and Couples counselling
The lines between counselling and psychotherapy are quite blurred these days, however-here's my understanding of the difference:
Counselling – short term
Counselling usually focuses support on thinking and feeling about a particular current problem over some weeks or months. For example, mostly you feel ok in life, but then something happens- a bereavement, or you discover you’re infertile etc- counselling can support you to express how you feel about what’s happened to you; to process that experience and get through it.
Psychotherapy – long term
Psychotherapists are trained for a long time in order to work indepth with the underlying influences contributing to problems. For example, if your relationship breaks-up, the impact can be addressed through short-term counselling. But, if you feel dissatisfied with the way you are in relationships; noticing patterns that keep occurring, or patterns with the way others always seem to respond to you, then you may want to address this. This would be explored through psychotherapy over time.
Explaining the Difference Between Counselling and Psychotherapy a Bit More..
Another example - if you're made redundant then counselling can help you to process the immediate impact. You could choose to explore further in psychotherapy what meaning this event has e.g. do you just view it that your boss needed to reduce the work force? or do you see it as saying something about you? - that you're not worthy etc. From the second view point it's likely there'll be more complex feelings connected with the experience of job loss. Unconscious beliefs and meanings impact on how we feel about ourselves, others and life. Becoming more conscious of the meanings we attach to our experiences can give us more choice about how we then respond to circumstances, people and life.
Generally Psychotherapists are trained for longer than counsellors to enable them to work at depth with underlying themes/patterns/ emotional development, which are contributing to the current symptoms/issues. However, both counsellors and therapists have ongoing continuing professional development (CPD) and professional supervision throughout their careers.
Psychotherapists will have had many years experience of their own psychotherapy as required by their training, this is also true for most counselling trainings. It is widely understood by most schools that this is the basis for being able to work therapeutically with others. Whoever you choose to work with, I would recommend choosing someone who has had at least some experience of their own therapeutic process.
Underneath all the symptoms and distress that's experienced is at root a connection with our emotional development click for info on my approach and theoretical influences
The counselling work we do together can support you to face, process and deal with a current issue. The therapy relationship that we build over a longer time, can expand the choices you have, and help you find a way to be with yourself and others more constructively and satisfyingly.
If you are struggling with anxiety, anger, abuse, addictions, affairs, bereavement, depression, low-self esteem, infertility, overeating, undereating, relationship difficutlies-of any variety parent/child, straight or same sex relationships, bereavement, feeling lost, lonely, redundancy, self-harm, trauma, work issues, and other kinds of difficulties then counselling or psychotherapy can help.
Couples counselling- Having a space to hear each other out, can help sort through what's going on between you. Addressing problems is an intimate act and can bring you closer. Processing your own position, feelings, and the meanings of your experiences in couples therapy can create an opportunity for you and your partner to understand you more. Sometimes there's a specific crisis that shakes everything up. Other times, you may both just know that something's wrong/changed/ puzzling you. Whatever distress/ dissatisfaction you're both experiencing, can be usefully explored through couples work.
Getting in TouchPlease call or email to ask questions, or to have a brief chat before making an appointment. You can make an appointment, by text, email, or phone, whichever suits you. Please leave a message on my mobile number (which is a confidential number), I will get back to you asap.
07527 901 723 or click to email
© 2012 Jayne Burrows