Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy

Sometimes the words counselling and psychotherapy are used interchangeably. Sometimes the word counselling refers to both counselling AND psychotherapy. Professionally, they refer to different and distinct processes though there may be some overlap in the aims and objectives of clients. In our practice, counselling refers to a process that tends to focus on developing understanding about everyday problems and issues. The aim of counselling is to find a reconciliation between, thoughts, feelings and actions in regard to these problems and issues.

Psychotherapy on the other hand, tends to focus on more deeply felt and longer lasting emotional experiences and on issues that hinge around a client’s sense of self. As a consequence the work may have a personal and historical orientation and may focus more on enduring patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.

Usually, psychotherapy is a longer process than counselling. Counselling may focus on issues like: making decisions; adjusting to life’s new circumstances; grief; managing conflict; and planning for the future. Psychotherapy on the other hand, may focus more on less tangible and more enduring experiences such as, feelings of emptiness, feelings of low self worth, helplessness, hopelessness and isolation. The psychotherapeutic process involves identifying and making sense of unconscious thoughts, feelings and motives in order to function differently in the world. Counselling and psychotherapy help clients become more self-aware.

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