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Counseling vs. Psychotherapy: Know the Difference



Counseling vs. Psychotherapy Know the Difference
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There are so many terminologies when it comes to mental health care when describing the situation or a patient’s condition. However, every jargon is unique and represents ailments differently and so cannot be used interchangeably. Terms represent the route of treatment and care required by the patient and how difficult the situation is.

Two standard terms used in the mental health care dictionary are counseling and psychotherapy. Distinguishing between them is necessary to understand what each of these terms represents, what the job description entails, and what educational requirements are needed to practice them.

What Is The Difference Between Counseling and Psychotherapy?

The buildup is gradual, starting from what these two fields represent. From there, distinguishing these two fields will get more comfortable, so let’s explore them in detail.

  • Counseling. It is a more short-term approach to dealing with patients. A counselor works with patients who are consciously aware of their situation and helps them work through them. The goal of a counselor is to help a patient achieve a solution to immediate issues. Counseling helps patients in acknowledging their emotions and encouraging them to feel them. They also help patients in breaking down their confusion and guide them while making professional or personal decisions.

It helps patients in developing improved interpersonal relationships and communication. Such as a structured approach to getting rid of an addiction. Counselors provide a step by step guide to their patients, giving them a framework to work with to help them achieve their goals effectively and bring about a positive outlook.

  • Psychotherapy. It is a long-term session that gradually deals with patients by walking them through their thoughts and behaviors. This in-depth treatment proceeds by judging a patient’s attitude towards different situations and their interpersonal relationships. A therapist helps a patient to the source of their problems.

It allows them to shift their perspective from generally nihilistic thoughts to happier and optimistic views. Psychotherapists empower their patients and help them escape the vicious cycle of their thoughts.

Now that you know the main differences between psychotherapy vs counseling, you can work towards building a career in either one of these two fields.

What Are Their Educational Requirements?

As their professional backgrounds are different from each other, so do their education and field requirements.

  • Psychotherapists. Before embarking on a profession in psychology. Therapists receive formal training, which could be in any field. They gain professional training at a graduate level and take up internships at their school to learn about their career. Psychotherapists may hail from a medical background. They have to earn their license and certificate before they can practice as a full-fledged therapist. Their education doesn’t end there. They’re required to attend workshops and seminars and learn new methods and techniques to conduct therapy successfully.
  • Counseling. On the other hand, counselors need to have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. They can earn bachelor’s degrees in any field ranging from behavioral, social sciences, or psychology. Bachelor’s degrees in other areas are also acceptable for pursuing a master’s degree. In any case, a counselor’s coursework for undergraduate studies includes studying human development, counseling skills, psychology, and basic therapeutic approaches.

Counselors then need to earn a master’s degree in mental health counseling. They should attend accredited universities that allow them to work under supervised counselors. They are also required to do internships, which will help them complete their master’s degree. After which, they’re eligible for appearing for a licensing exam. They can also continue attending workshops and seminars to learn new counseling techniques and new approaches towards helping their clients.

The similarity between the Two

They’re both involved in their patient’s wellbeing and care. Both deal with different clientele and tackle different issues. Both study their patients’ behavioral and thought processes to help them create a positive outlook for their lives. They help them in improving their interpersonal relationships and help them thrive in their work environment. Both study the field of psychology, respectively.

Wrap Up

Despite being of different professions, both cater to the healthcare sector more specifically towards the mental health care system. As the world is evolving and society is rapidly expanding. There is an increased need for both mental care professionals.

Counselors help patients reach their immediate goals by assisting them to work towards their problems in a structured and emotional manner. It enables patients to find a quick solution to their problem, which can gradually build their personality and reshape their thought process for the better.

Psychotherapists are involved with unpacking layers of psychological and emotional issues. They help patients get to the crux of their problems, causing them distress through every aspect of their lives. Helping them deal with these issues liberates them from their thoughts, their inhibitions, and their pessimistic behavior towards themselves and life.

Both fields are equally rewarding and are a chance to give back to society by taking care of a community. Assisting people and helping them be better and refined versions of themselves are part and parcel of a functioning society. So join the workforce today, get your license and help reshape lives!

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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