What are Counselling, Coaching and Psychotherapy?
The terms ‘Counselling’, ‘Psychotherapy’ and ‘Therapy’ all refer to the process of meeting with a trained therapist in a safe, supportive environment to help manage and overcome personal issues.
• A Counsellor has qualifications and experience in counselling theory and skills. Counsellors usually conduct short and medium term work.
• A Psychotherapist generally works to greater depth than a counsellor, due to more extensive training. Psychotherapy is often medium to long-term, but can be short term too. It usually involves examining the client’s past.
• A Coach or Life Coach helps clients set and achieve goals, focussing on the present and the future, rather than the past.
• A Coaching Therapist holds the qualifications of a Counsellor of Psychotherapist and has also trained as a Coach so that they can integrate the two.
• A Psychologist holds a degree in Psychology, but does not necessarily have any experience with clients.
• A Counselling Psychologist has similar training to a counsellor or psychotherapist, but also holds a degree in Psychology.
• A Psychiatrist is a medically trained professional who offers diagnostic assessment and a treatment program which could include medications and/or psychological therapy.
Our P-Therapists and practitioners consist of expert counsellors, psychotherapists, coaching therapists and coaches who can help with almost any issue.
Psychotherapy or Counselling?
The terms psychotherapy, counselling and therapy actually refer to the same process, which involves talking through and examining personal difficulties with the view of overcoming them, gaining self awareness and working towards positive change with the support of a trained professional.
‘Counselling’ is possibly the most confusing term, often having different meanings for different people. The Concise Oxford Dictionary gives conflicting definitions of counselling. The english version states that counselling is:
“the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems”
Whilst the US version says:
“give advice to (someone):
• give professional psychological help and advice to (someone)
• recommend (a course of action)”
This definition particularly conflicts with the real purpose of counselling and therapy. The purpose is not to give advice, but to help you as a client understand your feelings and behaviour.
Psychotherapy on the other hand is given the same meaning in the British and US versions:
“the treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.”
The terms “Therapy” alone holds the above definition and also
“treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder”.
At P-Therapy, our understanding and belief is that counselling is a helping approach that highlights the experience of a client, how they feel and what they think about the problem they have sought help for. Psychotherapy, by contrast, usually encourages the client to go back to their earlier experiences and explore how these experiences are affecting their current situation and problems. Yet many psychotherapists help clients deal with certain issues without delving into the client’s past, and many counsellors explore their clients’ past with them.
For this reason, at P-Therapy we generally refer to the client-professional relationship simply as therapy. We use the word therapist to describe the professionals who offer therapy and coach or practitioner for those who offer services outside of counselling and psychotherapy.
What is therapy anyway?
Therapy offers a safe, private, regular time and space for you to talk about what’s bothering you and explore difficult feelings with a trained professional. You can expect your therapist to be respectful, dependable and trustworthy. This can help you to deal with specific problems and crises, understand yourself more, improve your relationships and quality of life by developing better ways of living and being.
Contact us through the site for more information, to book a free 20 minute consultation or to start sessions now.