what is counselling?
Life presents us with challenges, problems, crises, ‘watersheds’, losses, bereavements and sometimes just a general feeling of meaninglessness, that things do not feel good, or could be better.
Many of us manage or cope with these challenges - sometimes it feels we have little choice - but every now and then we can get in front of someone who really listens. The load seems to be shared or to lighten. It might be a friend, relative or someone in the caring professions.
How can this help? Thoughts often go around and around in our minds. People can find that when they voice their thoughts to another person they hear their thoughts for themselves in a different way. This in turn seems to avoid the ‘loop tape’ effect of persistent troubling thoughts, and allow a person to make a shift in their feelings.
Counselling can offer help with low mood, bereavement, relationship difficulties, confidence building.
what is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Mostly the terms counselling and psychotherapy are used interchangeably. One is not ‘better’ than the other. Psychotherapists tend to have a longer training and are expected to be in therapy themselves, during training, for longer than a counselling training might require.
Usually, a higher level of education or equivalent experience is expected for psychotherapy training before acceptance on a course. There may also be an assumption that psychotherapists will work for longer with a client and may go deeper into the client’s issues. Though that is not always the case.