Psychotherapy vs. Counseling

Eggs showing contrast between psychotherapy and counseling
The same but different; which is better for you?

Let’s start with the basics:

While these two practices are very similar, there are some important differences to pay attention to. Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist or another mental health provider. (Mayo Clinic) Psychotherapy tends to focus on past issues that impact you in the present. On the other hand, counseling typically focuses on specific, current issues and may only last for a few weeks.

Most importantly, “while a psychotherapist is qualified to provide counseling, a counselor may or may not possess the necessary training and skills to provide psychotherapy.” (VeryWellMind)

Where’s the overlap?

  • The general goal is to improve the client’s life
  • Effective for a wide range of people with multiple different mental health concerns
  • A partnership between therapist and client which is healing, trusting, and safe

What are the main differences?

Both counseling and psychotherapy are pretty generalized terms with multiple different approaches that fall under each. However, for the purposes of this article we will focus on the umbrella terms.

While counseling focuses on current problems that impact your life, psychotherapy focuses on experiences from your past that have created chronic issues for you. Similarly, psychotherapy will focus on overall patterns in your life, while counseling zeros in on specific issues.

Counseling tends to be more guidance based rather than hands-on like psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, the therapist may conduct personality or intelligence testing as well as dive deeper into your cognitive habits and engage in trauma and somatic therapies.

Psychotherapy is best for people who have ongoing issues that stem from past experiences or ongoing conditions that impact daily life. Psychotherapists also delve deeper into client issues and work with specific mental health diagnoses using psychotherapy modalities and treatments. Counseling, on the other hand, is great for people who are dealing with short-term issues or adjustments and need a little guidance or support through this period of their life.

Psychotherapy vs. Counseling at Soma Therapy:

Soma Therapy believes in a holistic approach to healing. This means that psychotherapy and counseling conducted by Soma providers will heal you in a well-rounded way instead of a pinpoint approach.

Soma believes in full recovery and transformation from any mental health concerns. We believe in nourishing and empowering our clients’ healthy selves. This helps us rediscover and find grace in all of our parts – good or bad. That is to say, whether you engage in counseling or psychotherapy, you will come out of each session with a better sense of self and a more positive outlook on your life in general.

Looking for resources?

If you or someone you know is interested in starting treatment for a mental health concern, please contact us today to get a compassionate and thorough intake so we can connect you with the best services possible. You can call us at (316) 201-6047 or contact us here.

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