Is there a difference between counselling and psychotherapy? If so, what is it?
The terms counselling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably, and while closely related, they are not entirely synonymous. Counselling tends to be shorter in duration, typically 10 to 16 sessions, and is more targeted to a specific set of symptoms or a life obstacle. Examples of issues that might be addressed with counselling include depression resulting from a breakup or anxiety about beginning a new job.
Psychotherapy, on the other hand, tends to be long-term, often longer than six months and is far more in-depth than counselling. Where counselling focuses on the more superficial symptoms, psychotherapy addresses the deep-seated root causes of emotional suffering. The hallmarks of psychotherapy are self-reflection and self-examination with the goal of producing profound and lasting change in all facets of a client's life.
Here at Thriving Ivy Counselling & Psychotherapy, both approaches to therapy are offered depending on the presenting issues and the wishes of the client.
What does Trauma Therapy Look Like?
There is no one size fits all approach to trauma therapy. For some people to heal, it is essential that they have a space to tell their story. For these survivors, therapy will entail us going deep into the actual events, exploring the meaning they have assigned to them and then creating new meaning that more accurately reflects their strength and ability to survive.
However, a deep dive into the traumatic events is not necessary for healing. When we talk about trauma, we are not referring to the actual event but rather the emotional response to the event. It is the meaning that one derives from the experience that is significant. For survivors who cannot or do not want to recall the events in detail, focusing on the emotions and meaning related to the events is sufficient for healing.
If you're wondering if trauma therapy is right for you, I encourage you to contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.