Counseling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing to people seeking help. Most of us who work in the field tend to use the two terms a little differently. Counseling is usually used to refer to getting help for less severe problems or for situational issues. Psychotherapy is usually used to describe a process that relies more on the relationship between therapist and client to lead to deeper or more lasting changes.
One way to look at it is that psychotherapy is treatment for a disorder. In that situation, there are symptoms that are interfering with a person’s overall functioning, and therapy is designed to relieve the symptoms and improve functioning. Counseling, on the other hand, is intended to foster personal growth, help a person make a decision, assist with future planning (for example, about a career decision), or attain greater happiness. It may also help a person to figure out how to resolve a troublesome situation, such as a workplace problem or an unhappy relationship.Continue Reading Is it Counseling or Psychotherapy?