Counselling or Therapy

If you are looking for help then it is vital that you find the right kind of help and the first step is to understand that the term counselling refers to two disciplines that do not necessarily refer to the same level of treatment. Unfortunately, the term counselling is often used generically to include both disciplines which are counselling AND psychotherapy. 

If we use the medical profession as an approximate analogy then you will often have the choice to see either a doctor or a nurse to discuss a problem at your medical centre. The decision is initially yours depending on the severity or complexity of the problem.

Similarly, with counselling, the counselor is analogous to the nurse and the psychotherapist the doctor. This is because counselling will generally be for an identified problem where the treatment is of short duration. On the other hand, psychotherapy will be for more complex and deep seated problems.

As will be appreciated the level of training for a counselor and psychotherapist is reflected in the work and, as required by the professional governing bodies, is more extensive for a psychotherapist.  In particular this relates to the level of therapy that has to undertake in order to give the quality of analysis and support that can be required for trauma caused, for example, by sex abuse or bereavement.

So, to sum up,  when considering the support you require be aware that the role of the practitioner, whether counsellor or therapist is to give you the tools and insight to overcome your problems rather than advise and guide. The severity and nature of your problem dictates the level of assistance.

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