What’s the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Counselling is the word commonly used to refer to when wanting someone to talk to about personal problems.  What matters most is the fit between the person seeking help and the helper.  Broadly speaking psychotherapy engages more deeply with ways that past relationships and traumas are repeated in the present. The training to become a psychotherapist is longer and deeper than that for counselling. But many counsellors become in effect very good therapists and not all psychotherapists are helpful.

There are many titles for different schools of the talk therapies. Research shows that different kinds are found to be more or less equally effective.(Bruce Wampold, The Great Psychotherapy Debate.) Where there are real differences is in the results achieved by different therapists and counsellors, basically some of us are more effective than others. But what the research also shows is that it is the fit between the client and counsellor/therapist that matters most for a good outcome.

So, in looking for help with personal problems or relationship issues it’s a really good idea to have a meeting with two or three therapists to see who feels right for you.

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