Counselling and psychotherapy are terms used interchangeably to cover a range of talking therapies with considerable overlap. In certain situations, counselling is offered as part of the process of psychotherapy; whereas a counsellor may work with clients in a psychotherapeutic manner.
The key difference between these two courses of therapeutic work treatment lies in the practitioner's training and experience, and the depth to which the work goes. Frequently counselling refers to a briefer treatment centred on addressing a specific behavioural issue, while psychotherapy more generally explores the emotional and psychological roots of long-held unconscious patterns.
A counsellor may offer a more focused service that concentrates on providing a structure to the therapeutic experience. Often the work centres on a specific issue and the steps needed to address or remedy it so treatment for addiction, for instance, will be offered in progressive stages over a set period of time.
In counselling, problems are largely discussed in the present-tense with less attention given to the role of past experiences. A good counsellor will generally guide the client to discover their own answers instead of giving advice, and support them through any actions they choose to take.
Psychotherapy will bring a deeper awareness to the emotional background and psychological foundation of a problem, rather than focusing on specific behaviours. Psychotherapists help to resolve past experiences as part of laying the foundation for a satisfying future, hence the work requires that the client be willing to examine their past and consider its impact on their present and future.
A psychotherapist will often glean information from a variety of unconscious sources – such as the body, 'inner child' and the imagination – and reflect on the therapeutic relationship in exploring traumatic memories and strong feelings. A good pschotherapist will frequently hold a recognised psychotherapy qualification and be registered with a professional body such as the UKCP.
Psychosynthesisis an integrative psychology and coaching philosophy with a psychospiritual orientation. Taking a psychospiritual approach means we don't shy away from existential questions – such as "what am I here for?" and "what does it all mean" – since psychosynthesis is concerned with the ways in which we make connections and discover meaning in our lives.
Though we do not expect to find definitive answers, consideration of these important questions can lead us to discover far richer ways of Being. The willingness to face a personal crisis can provide an unforeseen opportunity for awakening and set us on the path toward a more creative, compassionate and fulfilling life.
My training in counselilng and psychotherapy enhances my ability to work with a variety of clients across a wide array of concerns and issues. My areas of specialization include:
Attention is also given to our human impact on the more-than-human world and 'solastalgia', the psychological distress caused by this ecological crisis.