Knowing the Similarities and Differences Between These Two Methods

Along our path to recovery, we will come across many different terms and phrases that can be confusing to decipher. There are different treatment processes, different kinds of treatment centers, and various titles for people you work with. Part of our journey to recovery is trying to make sense of all these terms. That is why we are here! We want to make your transition into recovery as painless and straightforward as possible, and this includes helping you know what the definitions of certain things are. Today, we are focusing on the differences between two very common terms. Let’s consider the difference between psychotherapy/psychotherapists and counseling/counselors. Therapists and counselors are people you may work with during your recovery. The confusing part is that both these terms can be, and often are, used interchangeably, even though they are not synonymous. There is, however, a lot of overlap between the two, and they can employ some of the same plans and strategies to help you recover. Despite these similarities, it is helpful to know the differences between them. 

What Is Counseling?

 Counseling is a more general term than psychotherapy. Generally, this practice focuses more on a short-term style of treatment that is focused on addressing issues and problems of behavior. This means addressing and understanding different problems. The counselor will more or less be offering advice to the individual seeking help. In turn, the client will take this advice and try to find ways to cope. This process is a little less intense than therapy and puts the individual in charge of finding out how to best live their life and address their issues. 

What Is Therapy?

Psychotherapy is much more intensive, and it is wholly focused on mental health. This has the individual looking at the deeper roots of their problems. Through therapy, patients try to address chronic emotional and psychological issues. It uses a person’s thought processes, and how these processes may be affected by past events that are causing problems in the present. In other words, it is focused on addressing the core problems to help develop lasting change and personal growth.

Similar but Different – and Both Important! 

As you can see, there are many similarities between these two things. They are both dedicated to helping promote healthier living and addressing specific problems in the patient. They are both adequate treatment for people of all ages and backgrounds, and they are both focused on a person’s feelings and behaviors. It can be confusing, but it is important to know the differences. 

One of the most significant differences is that counseling is focused on problems that have only recently taken hold in a person’s life. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, is focused on chronic, long-lasting problems. Counseling is designed to address specific things going on in your life right now, and psychotherapy is about addressing the long term and general habits. Counseling is also referred to as talk therapy, where there is no physical interaction between the patient and doctor. It is more about talking through your problems and finding your own path to a better way of living. Psychotherapy can include different tests and other types of treatment than talk therapy. It is a much more intensive process and is not just for the patient to find the habits they need to live better. The professional therapist will help them shape their plans and figure out how to be better. 

Which Type of Treatment Is Right for Me?

Choosing the right treatment is a highly individualized process. If you have a short-term issue to address, counseling can be the way to go. If your problems are chronic and you have been dealing with them for a long time, psychotherapy could be the better choice. Counseling could also be the first step in addressing your mental health. If you don’t see any improvement or change, you may move on to pursuing psychotherapy. The good news is: you can often receive both treatments from the same person, so you don’t have to worry about rebuilding a sense of trust with someone else. 

There are so many things that go into trying to find the best recovery process for you. It all boils down to what kind of problems you are trying to address. While both the methods of counseling and psychotherapy are similar and effective, it is essential to know which one you should pursue. If not, you can try both and see which works for you. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]