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5 TIPS for a Successful #Counseling or #Psychotherapy Experience.

October 2, 2015

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What exactly is counseling | psychotherapy?

Have you ever wondered what exactly is #counseling or #psychotherapy?


Traditionally, #counseling has been viewed as giving advice and dealing with less serious problems such as choosing a career or dealing with stressful in-laws.  #Counseling was thought of as helping people to address problems in the here and now and was short term in length i.e. several months.  #Counseling was also seen as something that “crazy’ people went to in order to help them be less “crazy”.  For example the family that had their children removed, went to #counseling to get their children back. Or the guy that talked to himself went to #counseling to learn how to apply for a job and keep a job.


#Psychotherapy on the other hand has been traditionally viewed as someone going to see a #psychiatrist, #psychologist or #psychoanalyst to better understand themselves. The problems included things such as why you hate your parents, depression, sexual abuse or why you keep picking the wrong person to date.  #Psychotherapy was seen as treating more serious issues and something that only rich bored people did that lasted several years. Think Woody Allen movies.


Fortunately, most of the traditional thinking about #counseling and #psychotherapy has fallen by the wayside among medical and mental health professionals and by a good deal of the general public. Today #counseling, #psychotherapy and the word #therapy are used interchangeably by the general public and many professionals. However, the word #psychotherapy can still carry the weight of “seriousness”, more “prestige” and that it is longer term versus “the less serious” and less “prestigious” and shorter term counseling. For example, is some government programs aimed at help clients with social and emotional problems, a client can only be referred for #counseling but not #psychotherapy.


Whether you call it #counseling or #psychotherapy, it is an introspective process. This means that you must be willing to look at and explore your own life, your thoughts, your emotions, your feelings and your interactions with others. This can often be an emotionally frightening process and many people drop out of #counseling because they find this process too hard.