What is counselling/therapy?
Counselling and therapy (sometimes called ‘psychotherapy’) are both types of talking therapy, which can be a source of support if you’re struggling with something.
As the name suggests, ‘talking therapy’ often involves talking about your feelings, thoughts and experiences. This can help you to make sense of what’s going on in your life, and give you a safe place where you can talk about difficult feelings, get things off your chest, and find ways of coping when things are difficult.
Counselling or therapy may be offered to you as a treatment for a specific mental health problem, but you don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, or even a specific ‘problem’, to do talking therapy.
What is the difference between therapy and counselling?
You may hear people use the words ‘counselling’ or ‘therapy’ to mean the same thing, but there is a slight difference between the two. Counselling is usually short-term and often focuses on finding solutions for a specific problem that you are struggling with now. For example, if you have recently lost a loved one, you may attend grief counselling.
Therapy is usually medium- or long-term and focuses more on exploring thoughts, feelings or behaviours that impact your life. For example, if you have difficulty with relationships or you’ve been struggling for a while and things aren’t getting better, you might go to therapy to understand what is causing the issue.
In talking therapy, a trained therapist or counsellor will listen to your problems and work with you to help you understand what is causing these problems, and find solutions to help you overcome them.