In this assignment, I will analyse the principal distinctions between counselling and psychotherapy; I will evaluate the key requirements to be an effective counsellor and the conditions for which it would be appropriate to see a counsellor. I will do that by using a range of resources in my research, such as Text Books, Journals and the Internet.
1.1 Analyse the principal distinctions between psychotherapy and counselling
According to the BACP “Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing. ” (www.bacp.co.uk;)
This definitions suggests that counselling and psychotherapy both requires helping skills as they are both aim to help clients to overcome difficulties or traumas in their lives; states that both delivered by trained practitioners and in terms of time frame, both can be short or long term help, depending on the issue or problem that the client needs to solve. Although often we see that counselling tends to be short term, while psychotherapy usually means long- term engagement in therapy. The European Association for Counselling (1996) defines counselling as the following: “Counselling is an interactive learning process contracted between counsellor(s) and client(s), be they individuals, families, groups or institutions, which approaches in a holistic way, social, cultural, economic and/or emotional issues.
Counselling may be concerned with addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, coping with crisis, improving relationships, developmental issues, promoting and developing personal awareness, working with feelings, thoughts, perceptions and internal or external conflict. The overall aim is provide clients with opportunities to work in self defined ways, towards living in more satisfying and resourceful ways as individuals and as members of the broader society.” This outlines a more specific definition for counselling and it suggests different issues that can be resolved through counselling; such as a personal crisis or relationship issues. We can see from these examples in the definition, that counselling does not deal with deeply rooted issues, such as child abuse or other deep rooted traumatic experiences, which has an impact on the client’s present life, cause some kind of changes in their personality or behaviour. Psychotherapy is rooted in Freudian psychodynamics, so it’s medical aspect to the training makes a significant difference to counselling. Both working with clients during a psychotherapy session and analysis of the psychotherapist themselves focused in-depth consideration of past issues. Petrushka Clarkson states: " The psychodynamic past to psychotherapy still exerts an influence on the debate, and consequently on perceptions." (www.counselling.ltd.uk; 24.09.2011) Another difference between counselling and psychotherapy is, that in psychotherapy the therapist works in more depth, usually for a longer period of time and more frequently, than it can be noted in counselling. This is because while in psychotherapy the practitioner is looking for the roots of the issue, explores and bring them into connection with a present or repeated behaviour patterns (e.g.: every relationship of the client ends the same way); in counselling very often it is about situational issues; such as a miscarriage, a loss of someone or perhaps a sudden financial problem that the clients find him/herself in. The following definition supports the concepts that psychotherapy is more engaged with patients who has deep rooted issues or psychological problems and in need of a therapy that supports Freudian techniques such as the psychodynamic approach. “The treatment of a behavior disorder, mental illness, or any other condition by psychological means. Psychotherapy...