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The Difference Between Counseling and Therapy

Updated: May 4, 2023


Difference Between Counseling and Therapy

If you've ever struggled with mental health issues, chances are you've thought about seeking help from either a counselor or therapist.


But have you ever stopped to think about the difference between them?


Counseling and therapy are powerful tools for overcoming mental health struggles.


While they are very similar, a few distinctions exist, particularly in the methods and approaches involved.


In this blog post, we will dive deeper into their differences so you will know what to expect from your treatment.


Counseling and Therapy: Similarities


Counseling and psychotherapy are traditional treatments for mental health problems, such as chronic stress, anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress, and phobia.


Both these modalities involve talking with a trained mental health professional to learn effective strategies to address a particular problem.


During a counseling or therapy session, an individual talks about their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and learns ways to understand them better.


Both counselors and psychotherapists use different methods or approaches to help their clients. After all, they are doctors of the mind. That said, there can be a lot of overlap between these treatments.


Moreover, counselors and therapists often work together to diagnose, treat, or prevent mental illnesses.


Therapy & Counseling: Differences


Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) generally treats a broader range (and more complex) of mental health issues.


It can include many approaches, including counseling, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and mentalization-based therapy.


As mentioned, counseling is a form of psychotherapy used to address a specific issue.


It is often wellness-oriented, providing a more profound understanding and teaching how to handle difficulties and challenges effectively.


Unlike therapy, which focuses on helping a person overcome mental health problems, adaptation, and psychological issues, counseling deals with social, professional, and academic challenges.


For example, a person may seek counseling to deal with common life challenges like relationship difficulties, family problems, or grief. They may also undergo counseling to learn specific techniques for coping or dealing with day-to-day problems.


Meanwhile, therapy can be long-term as it involves helping people understand and manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and identify patterns that lead to emotional distress.


For instance, if you're suffering from depression, your therapist can use counseling and other approaches to help you feel better.


Your therapist may include counseling on specific issues. On the other hand, if your counselor sees patterns in your behavior or mental responses that need a deeper treatment approach, they may advise you to start therapy.


Finding a Mental Health Professional

Mental Health Professional

Look no further if you're looking for a family therapist to help you or your loved ones get through their substance abuse, relationship challenges, or domestic violence struggles.


Our licensed therapists have the experience and expertise to provide the help you or your family members need.


We pride ourselves on our supportive attitude and commitment to ensuring that you and your family can live happy and healthy lives and not feel disconnected.


Whether helping identify warning signs of addiction or helping manage your relationships better, our team is here for you.


The caring therapists at Change Inc. will want to discuss your reasons for believing that treatment is necessary with you during your initial visit.


During this first session, they will ask about the nature of your symptoms, duration, and any past treatment. And about your family, job, leisure activities, and personal life.


The proper treatment strategy will be based on the initial dialogue. Our Lakewood therapists will go through the treatment plan with you and allow you to ask any questions.


They'll help you to create a new set of coping skills to deal with life's obstacles by using a nonjudgmental approach to explore the hidden feelings beneath the surface.


Our counseling is intended to assist a person in addressing specific issues, such as stress management or depression, by focusing on particular difficulties.


Since there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution in counseling, we have multiple Lakewood therapists trained in techniques such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). EMDR (eye movement desensitization processing) and brainspotting to help you.


We offer both online therapy and sessions at our Lakewood counseling center. We work with individuals or families, so if you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health challenge, take a minute right now and reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you and would be happy to help.

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