The difference between therapeutic counselling and psychotherapy is largely overrated but generally its agreed that psychotherapy involves committing to a longer duration and greater depth in the process of inner change. Psychotherapy address the more deep-seated areas of development that involve sensitive issues around chronic thoughts, feelings, behaviors or life patterns that are difficult to change or even understand.
In effect the process of care that governs counselling is the same as for psychotherapy, but the need for support tends is more short-term in nature, ie between 6 and 20 sessions (although duration can be 1 – 2 years). This is not to say that counselling is a more superficial process, the journey itself is open-ended, and so the counselling process must be adjusted accordingly.
Often we may discover larger motivations for engaging in therapy that lie beneath the obvious issue, however the issues that bring clients to counselling are generally revolving around difficult transitions or life stages, which bring out the healthy neurotic in all of us.
Furthermore counselling can also be seen as a path to personal development as it effectively supports the growth of positive consciousness in how we relate in our close relationships and our professional life. Although there are numerous approaches to therapy Psychosynthesis counselling offers unique contributions in the areas of education and personal development psychology. Often described as a psychology with a soul, the practice of psychosynthesis represents an attitude to life, and learning to use the many tools at our disposal. It builds on the creative potential of crisis and failure, and is one of few psychological models that works with aspects of creativity aswell as spirituality. Meditation and mindfulness practices for example, have been an intrinsic part of Psychosynthesis therapy and practice for more than half a century, since its founding by Roberto Assagioli, an Italian Psychiatrist who corresponded with Freud and Jung.
For more information on Psychosynthesis or other relevant Counselling discussions, see links and posts.