What Are The Main Therapy And Counselling Approaches?: If you are new to the world of therapy and counselling, the abundance of counselling approaches and the language used to describe them can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Although it is, in fact, just as complicated as it appears, this page should give you a few hints, describing some key terms and pointing you in the right direction.
Although ‘counselling’ can be used to describe any form of therapeutic intervention, it usually refers specifically to a short-term, goal-oriented therapy modality that focuses on one specific issue or area of your life. You might approach a counsellor to help you deal with grief and bereavement over the death of a loved one, or help you navigate a difficult life-transition period in your domestic or professional life.
A counsellor will listen without judgement and will use different counselling approaches to help you to find solutions without telling you what to do. Counselling is usually offered for a fixed number of sessions.
Psychotherapy is usually a less-structured, more open-ended process that might continue for many years and usually deals with physical and emotional problems, behavioural disorders and human sexuality issues. A psychotherapist might also help you deal with a specific issue, but they are more likely to help you identify and address deep-seated psychological issues, reflect on the role your past might play in living your current life, and consider your subconscious.
Psychotherapy is a talking therapy process and forms the basis of many therapeutic approaches (most of which you can find at HQ Therapy).
Clinical Psychology, on the other hand, is a scientific, medical and theoretical approach that is used to diagnose, treat and prevent psychological issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and addiction issues, learning disabilities, family and work conflict and relationship issues.
Clinical psychologists are able to officially diagnose mental health conditions and will treat them using psychological techniques rather than by prescribing medications.
The process is more structured than psychotherapy or counselling approaches: you will be formally assessed before your clinician begins working with you to help you find practical solutions to the issues you are facing.