What are counselling and psychotherapy?
The BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) defines counselling and psychotherapy in the following way:
Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing.
Usually individuals choose to have therapy because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives. Sometimes people can be isolated but at other times, even where an individual has the most supportive family and friends, they can find it difficult if not impossible to explain why, for example, they may be feeling anxious and or depressed. Or it may be easier to talk about personal, family, or relationship issues with a person who is independent of friends and family. Other life issues and events which can be very difficult to deal with include bereavement, divorce, redundancy, health issues, bullying and so on. However, you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of one, before choosing to have therapy. You may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general, or be seeking balance in your life and spirituality. All of these reasons and more will bring individuals to therapy.
What is Psychotherapy?
The UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) outlines psychotherapy in this way:
How can psychotherapy benefit me?
Sessions with a trained psychotherapist offer an environment in which you can express your feelings and gain a deeper insight into your difficulties. Psychotherapy sessions are confidential, so you can talk about things you might not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else. The aim is to help you find better ways to cope, or to bring about changes in the way you think and behave that will improve your mental and emotional well-being.
The term ‘psychotherapy’ covers a range of approaches and methods. These range from one-to-one talking sessions to therapies that use techniques such as role-play or dance to help explore people’s emotions. Some therapists work with couples, families or groups whose members share similar problems. Psychotherapy can be provided for adolescents and children as well as adults.