Counselling and Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy and Counselling are two terms which are often used interchangeably that overlap in a number of ways but contain subtle differences.
Generally the term Counselling may be used to denote brief intervention work which may focus on a particular problem. Psychotherapy on the other hand can involve working with a wider range of clients, for longer periods and more intensively enabling individuals to find more appropriate ways of coping or changing restrictive habitual patterns of thinking or behaviour.
UKCP Registered Psychotherapists
UKCP believes "the difference lies in the length and depth of training involved and in the quality of the relationship between the client and their therapist. UKCP-registered psychotherapists are trained to Masters level. UKCP registers psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Psychotherapeutic counsellors are counsellors who have received more in-depth training than that undertaken by most counsellors. UKCP's training standards for both qualifications seek to ensure that UKCP registrants are competent to practice to the highest standards".
My own personal view is that both can be a source of personal enrichment and empowerment, giving individuals the opportunity and confidence to make different choices in difficult or distressing situations, when they feel lost or stuck.
Myths about Counselling and Psychotherapy
Therapy is just for weak or 'crazy' people!
People choose to attend therapy for all kinds of reasons - money worries, addiction(s), anger, and relationship problems, the list is endless. It is for people who have decided they simply need a helping hand to help them deal with their difficulties. Talking to a professional, with someone who is not going to judge you, or tell you what to do, or how to live your life, may help you to understand yourself better, accept the way you are or alternatively support you to make the changes you would like to happen.
Counselling/Psychotherapy takes forever!
It takes as long as it needs to, there is no standard answer. What's 'long' for one person may be just enough time for another. A good therapist would never encourage you to continue therapy for longer than is appropriate or necessary.
Therapy just isn't as effective as medication!
The reality is this is still an on-going debate. Both have benefits and disadvantages. It is therefore important to always consider your individual needs to help identify the most appropriate treatment pathway.
Counsellors/Psychotherapists don't say anything - they just let you talk!
There are many different types of Counsellors/Psychotherapists and approaches. Some are more verbal and directive than others. The important thing is to ensure you find the one that is right for you, the one you feel most comfortable and at ease with and that has sufficient experience, qualifications and training necessary for your unique needs.
Hopefully this page has provided some useful information? The choice is now in your hands!