The difference between psychotherapy and counselling
Psychotherapy and counselling these days are often regarded as the same process, and it is true that there is a considerable overlap.
Loosely speaking, psychotherapy is expected to be a longer-term process than counselling. As well as focusing on the problem or issue that you bring to your appointment, when in therapy you can expect to spend some time concentrating on your early years and family background, seeing how these impact on your functioning now. It will also focus at times on the relationship between you and the therapist in order to better understand how you function in the outside world. It could be said that psychotherapy will be most useful to more deep-seated problems.
Counselling is often thought to be a shorter process and may choose to concentrate on the problem of the moment, without necessarily relating it to early years’ experiences. It is useful when deep-seated problems do not adversely affect everyday living.
Neither is better than the other – both are recognised as highly valuable for a whole range of situations.