Psychotherapy or Counselling?
Explaining the difference between psychotherapy and counselling is not easy because there is not a clear line that distinguishes one from the other; there is a large overlap between the two.
Both involve one-to–one talking therapy on a regular, usually weekly, basis. Both involve developing a therapeutic relationship or alliance between the trained professional and their client.
Psychotherapy is usually more longer term, but although counselling is sometimes offered for just a few sessions, some counsellors do work on a more open-ended basis.
One key difference might be that counselling often refers to work that is focused on a particular or specific issue or problem, whereas psychotherapy tends to address wider aspects of the client’s personality and approach to life, even though there may be one issue that provides a starting point for exploring this.
Another difference, associated with this, is that psychotherapy is more consciously concerned with the relationship that develops between the therapist and the client. This too might possibly be a feature of longer term counselling, but it is more explicitly a subject of, and a focus for, the work that happens in psychotherapy.
This is certainly true of CAT psychotherapy, as the therapist and client try to understand how the patterns of relating to others, and expectations of others, developed since childhood, continue to affect the client’s relationships with other people, including the therapist.
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