Difference Between Counseling and Therapy (With Table)

Counselling and Therapy are both medical processes to help people deal with mental health problems. Most people are unaware of the differences between them since they are remarkably similar. Counselling and Therapy are considerably different from one another, so a person has to get detailed information about the two processes to avail any one method that might be suitable for them.   

Counseling vs Therapy 

The difference between Counselling and Therapy is that both processes continue for a different period. Most counselling sessions last for a short-term period, and they typically deal with a specific issue. On the other hand, Therapy tends to continue for medium to long-term periods, and it helps a person understand themselves, their thought process, and behaviour.    

Counselling usually focuses on identifying and implementing potential solutions to a current issue. It typically continues for a short period and is held within a handful of sessions, where you can freely talk with your counsellor about your current problems. The counsellor’s job is not to assess your entire psychological and historical background but to help you solve your current concern.  

The process of therapy or psychotherapy is beneficial for dealing with attitudes, thoughts, behaviours, or feelings that have hurt a person’s life, relationships, or career. It is typically a medium to long-term process, and it helps a person understand oneself. Often, therapy is considered ‘deeper’ than counselling because it targets the root causes of our concerns and helps us uncover the reason behind the things we do in life. 

Comparison Table Between Counseling and Therapy 

Parameters of Comparison   Counseling   Therapy  
 Period   Continues for short periods and is held within a handful of sessions.   Continues for medium to long periods. 
 Purpose    Usually focuses on identifying and implementing potential solutions to a current issue.   It helps a person understand themselves, their thought process, and behaviour.    
 Work Involvement   Entails the work involvement of a professional mental health counsellor.   Entails the work involvement of a professional mental health therapist. 
 Spectrum   Is not as deep and involved as therapy.  Is much deeper and involving than therapy. 
 Problem-Solving   Counsellors might suggest visiting therapists if they identify underlying long-term issues and concerns of a person.   Therapists might include counselling their clients in some cases. 

What is Counseling? 

Counselling usually focuses on identifying and implementing potential solutions to a current issue. It is not as deep and involving as therapy, and it typically continues for short periods within a handful of sessions. Counselling entails the work involvement of professional mental health or clinical health counsellor.   

Counselling sessions involve you freely talking with your counsellor about your current problems. The counsellor’s job is not to assess your entire psychological and historical background but to help you solve your current concern. The core skill sets of Counselling sessions involve- being non-judgemental, identifying the current issues and concerns, and clarifying those primary issues of the person.  

Counsellors can, at times, identify underlying patterns and deep-rooted issues of their clients that have been affecting them mentally for a prolonged period. In a situation like this, Counsellors generally suggest their clients visit therapists.   

What is Therapy? 

The process of therapy or psychotherapy is beneficial for dealing with attitudes, thoughts, behaviours, or hurtful memories and feelings. It is a deep and involving process and typically continues for medium to long periods. Therapy entails the work involvement of a professional mental health therapist.  

Therapy primarily focussed on identifying the deep-rooted issues and concerns of a person- the problems that have affected a person’s life, work, and relationship. They typically uncover the underlying patterns and concerns of their clients. Therapy helps a person understand oneself. 

The Therapists can, at times, also play the role of counsellors. While a deep conversation with their clients, they might uncover issues that generally need counselling. In a situation like this, therapists usually help their clients deal with such challenges. Often, therapy is considered ‘deeper’ than counselling because it targets the root causes of our concerns and helps us uncover the reason behind the things we do in life. 

Main Differences Between Counseling and Therapy 

  1. Counselling typically continues for short periods and is held within a handful of sessions. On the other hand, Therapy typically continues for medium to long periods.  
  2. Counselling usually focuses on identifying and implementing potential solutions to a current issue. On the other hand, Therapy helps a person understand themselves, their thought process, and behaviour.    
  3. Counselling entails the work involvement of a professional mental health counsellor. On the other hand, Therapy entails the work involvement of a professional mental health therapist.  
  4. Counselling is not as deep and involving as therapy. In contrast, Therapy is considered deeper than counselling as it targets the root causes of our concerns and helps us discover the meaning behind the things we do in life.  
  5. Counsellors might suggest visiting therapists if they identify underlying long-term issues and concerns of a person. On the other hand, Therapists might include counselling their clients in some cases. 

Conclusion 

Counselling and Therapy are both medical methods to help people deal with mental health problems. Most people are unaware of the differences between them since they are remarkably similar. Counselling and Therapy are considerably different from one another, so a person has to get detailed information about the two processes to avail any one method that might be suitable for them.   

Counselling usually focuses on identifying and implementing potential solutions to a current issue. The counsellor’s job is not to assess your entire psychological and historical background but to help you solve your current concern. The core skill sets of Counselling sessions involve- being non-judgemental, identifying the current issues and concerns, and clarifying those primary issues of the person. 

The process of therapy or psychotherapy is beneficial for dealing with attitudes, thoughts, behaviours, or hurtful memories and feelings. Therapy primarily focussed on identifying the deep-rooted issues and concerns of a person- the problems that have affected a person’s life, work, and relationship. The Therapists can, at times, also play the role of counsellors.  

The main point of difference between Counselling and Therapy is that they are held for different periods. 

References 

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09515079808254038 
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14733140701356742 
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