People often ask me if there is a difference between counselling and psychotherapy. While many therapists use the terms synonymously, in my view, there can be a huge difference. I recommend counselling sessions to focus on acute issues or crises that have to do with where you are in life right now and with the events that you currently experience. Examples might be coping with:
- a new baby or other family member
- your child transitioning into a teenager or leaving home
- your (new) partner’s children
- relationship breakdown
- bereavement of a loved person or animal
- loneliness and feeling isolated
- (pending) job loss
- a new job or promotion
There are many other reasons for seeking counselling may it be:
- for personal development and to increase the understanding of yourself and the people around you
- to gain self-esteem and confidence
- to explore your (sexual) identity or the impact on living in a different culture
There are as many issues as there are individuals and the list is endless.
What I hope you see from the examples is that you might want to use me as a sounding board to hear your utmost inner thoughts and feelings. The clarity and insight gained consequently can help you find a way to deal with the difficult situations you are facing. For most people, it will take a number of sessions before the therapy starts to make a difference to how you feel. Counselling sessions often last from six to eighteen weekly sessions. However, the needs of individuals differ and the number of sessions given is an estimate only. Regular commitment is essential to make the best use of the therapy.
Counselling often involves talking about painful or difficult thoughts and feelings. As you begin to address them, you may, at times, feel worse in some ways. Nevertheless, in most cases you should gradually start to feel better.
Of course, there can be overlaps between counselling and psychotherapy. Who we are now is based on our upbringing, development over time and what kind of experiences we endured in our lives. It is not uncommon to discover that some unfinished business from the past has a greater impact on what is going on in your current life. The more aware we are of how we “tick” the easier it is for each of us to make different choices in live.