Mental health support is mandatory for any person who wants to live a healthy and fulfilling life but understanding the differences between counseling and therapy can be confusing.
I aim to explain the main key differences between counselling and therapy and to provide more information on the types of Therapy & Counselling that are available.
Let’s discuss how you can determine which one is right for you, what you can expect from sessions, and how to choose the best counsellor or therapist for improving your mental health condition.
Introduction to Counseling and Therapy
Counselling and therapy are both forms of mental health support, but they differ in their approach, goals, and duration. Counselling typically involves short-term sessions that aim to address specific issues, such as relationship problems, stress management, or grief. Counselling may also involve providing advice and guidance on how to cope with a particular situation.
Therapy, on the other hand, is a longer-term process that focuses on deeper emotional and psychological issues. Emphasis on deeper emotional and psychological issues. Therapy aims to help individuals understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, explore past experiences, and develop coping mechanisms for long-term change.
Understanding the Key Differences Between Counseling and Therapy
One of the key differences between counselling and therapy is the duration of the sessions.
Counselling sessions are generally shorter and more focused, while therapy sessions can take place over an extended period.
Another difference between counselling and therapy is the focus of the sessions. Counselling sessions are designed to address specific issues or problems, while therapy sessions are intended to explore deeper emotional and psychological issues. Digging deep and doing more introspection than in counselling looking at past traumas and the effect it has had on the person’s current situations.
Solution-orientated vs Developing Coping Mechanisms
Counselling may involve providing practical solutions or advice, while therapy may involve exploring past experiences and developing new coping mechanisms.
Counselling and Therapy Similarities
Counselling and therapy share some similarities, such as their aim to provide mental health support.
Both counselling and therapy involve talking to a trained professional, who can help individuals understand their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
Both counselling and therapy also involve creating a safe and supportive environment, where individuals can explore their feelings and experiences.
Types of Counseling and Therapy
There are several types of counselling and therapy available, each with its approach and focus.
Some of the most common types of counselling include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychoanalytic Therapy, Solution-Focussed Brief Therapy (SFBT) and Humanistic therapy. I mainly use Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Brain-Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT).
CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours. Psychoanalytic therapy involves exploring past experiences and unconscious thoughts and feelings. Humanistic therapy focuses on personal growth and self-awareness. Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a future-oriented, goal-directed approach to solving human problems of living. The focus is on the client’s health rather than the problem, on strengths rather than weaknesses or deficits, and on skills, resources, and coping abilities that would help in reaching future goals.
What happens in a BWRT® session?
If you’ve had any kind of therapy or counselling session, you’ll know it can sometimes be awkward, frustrating or even traumatic, as your brain mulls over problems, past and present.
Brain Working Recursive Therapy is a technique used by the counsellor that will give you the tools enabling you to reprogram your emotional or habitual responses, through the power of your thought alone. It uses natural psychological processes to recondition neural pathways in the brain that lead to unwanted behaviour With BWRT® you don’t need to discuss the cause or root of the problem in much detail, making the experience a lot more comfortable and in some way effortless.
A BWRT® session usually takes around an hour.
During the session, the counsellor will ask you to focus on a memory which has caused you to think, feel and behave in a certain way. The technique used will require you to shift your focus to how you would rather feel, think and behave. Essentially you will freeze the response before it goes past the limbic part of your brain – rather than letting the action or emotion form.
Acting at this crucial, innate position in your brain, BWRT® allows you to create a more empowering – but still realistic, possible, plausible response, replacing those older feelings, fears or insecurities. It takes that false, scared or limited response away and trades it with who you want to be and how you would like to respond. In essence, it’s a natural and practical form of counselling, and the best thing is, that the change comes completely from within you.
The counselling is largely content-free. The technique uses the client’s thought process to effect a release from the symptomatic pattern. There is a strict protocol that ensures maximum effectiveness and complete safety.
This technique can be used on Children, Teens and Adults
Mandy-Leigh is a qualified Level 1 BWRT® practitioner.
The following can be treated with remarkable success –
- Sexual Trauma
- Commitment Anxiety
- Phobias and Fears
- Success Inhibition
- Fear of failure
- Self-Confidence Issues
- Fear of Authority
Use the following link for more information –
- BrainWorking® Recursive Therapy Institute of South Africa
- Article on NS Healthcare about BWRT
- What is BWRT on the Terence Watts BWRT Institute website
- Video about BWRT
How to Determine if Counseling or Therapy is Right for You
Determining whether counselling or therapy is right for you depends on the type of issues you are facing.
If you are dealing with a specific issue, such as stress or relationship problems, counselling may be the best option.
If you are experiencing deeper emotional or psychological issues, such as depression or trauma, therapy may be more appropriate.
Goals and Expectations
It is important to consider your goals and expectations for mental health support when determining which option is right for you. If you are unsure which option to choose, speaking with a mental health professional can help you make an informed decision.
What to Expect from Counseling and Therapy Sessions
Counselling and therapy sessions typically involve talking to a trained professional, who can help you understand your feelings and behaviours. Make sure that you ask the trained professional about their credentials as many lay counsellors are not qualified and registered.
Sessions may involve discussing specific issues or exploring deeper emotional and psychological issues.
Sessions may also involve developing coping mechanisms and strategies for managing your mental health.
Counselling sessions may be more structured and focused on practical solutions, while therapy sessions may involve exploring past experiences and developing new coping mechanisms.
Choosing a Counselor or Therapist: Factors to Consider
Choosing a counsellor or therapist is an important decision, as it can impact the effectiveness of your mental health support. Some factors to consider when choosing a counsellor or therapist include their qualifications, experience, and approach.
It is also important to consider your personal preferences and needs, such as their expertise, availability, and personality.
Speaking with potential counsellors or therapists can help you determine if they are a good fit for you.
Benefits of Counseling and Therapy
Counselling and therapy can provide several benefits for mental health, including increased self-awareness, improved coping mechanisms, and better relationships. Counselling and therapy can also help individuals overcome specific issues, such as stress, grief, or relationship problems.
Therapy can help individuals explore deeper emotional and psychological issues, such as depression or trauma, and develop coping mechanisms for long-term change.
Misconceptions About Counseling and Therapy
There are several misconceptions about counselling and therapy, such as the belief that mental health support is only for individuals with severe mental health issues. It is like saying only people with serious diseases should go to the doctor if you have the flu you do not have to go to the doctor. However, mental health support can benefit anyone who wants to improve their mental health and well-being.
Another misconception is that counselling and therapy involve lying on a couch and talking about childhood experiences. While this may be a part of some therapy sessions, counselling, and therapy can involve a range of approaches and techniques, depending on the individual’s needs and goals.
Remember, mental health support is an essential part of leading a healthy and fulfilling life, and there is no shame in seeking help.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for an online counselling session. Let’s together create an environment where you can connect with yourself again, an environment that fosters and encourages authenticity. An environment where you can follow your gut and get to know what it looks like.
After doing an intake I might be able to help you with a few sessions using BWRT (Brainworking Recursive Therapy) read more about BWRT on another blog on my website: https://thewellsamaria.co.za/what-is-brainworking-recursive-therapy-or-bwrt/, or we will use another technique depending on your unique needs.
Contact Me & Book your online session!