What is the difference between a counsellor and a psychotherapist?

Can a Psychic or Medium help you with mental health problems?

You may already know what a Psychic or Medium does, and if not it is clearly explained on this website.

But what is the difference between what a counselor and a psychotherapist does?

What is the difference between what a counselor and a psychotherapist do?

I am one of these and I’ve been asked by my sister Claire who is a psychic and owns Spiritual Events to explain.

She wanted people who use Spiritual Events to know the difference between legitimate therapists and counselors and those who are self-proclaimed or fast-track via online short courses.

Let’s consider the level of competency these professionals have in order to provide safe and effective support for their clients.

The most important thing to consider when choosing to access support from any counseling or psychotherapy professional who is offering a space for you to be vulnerable in is if they have trained over a long period of time with a reputable organization.

That they have insurance and are recognized by other professionals.

Most professionals in the UK choose to be a member of a governing organization that oversees and sets out guidelines for good ethical practice.

These are viewable to the public. This can be to help them apply for jobs, with say the different NHS trusts who only recognize certain governing bodies and as far as I am aware will only take you on if you are a member of a governing body.

A psychotherapist for example who is registered with the UKCP – The UK Council for Psychotherapists, will regularly undergo clinical supervision.

So that they can discuss their work in confidence to support good and safe practices.

Most psychotherapists will have attended personal psychotherapy over a number of years.

This is to help them work through their stuff and to be able to have better self-awareness and develop as human beings.

For them to walk the walk as well as talk the talk! The same is true for Art, Dance and movement, Music and Drama Psychotherapists, as well as many more.

Did you know there are hundreds of types of psychotherapy alone? I have read about and spoken with people about the differences between counseling and psychotherapy, I think the two have blurred over the years.

I believe traditionally that counseling came through historically from social work theory and practice, whilst psychotherapy came through psychoanalytic theory and practice.

However these days we can find the two trainings pulling from the same theories and modern neuroscience.

Some see psychotherapy as more in-depth and a longer journey to become a psychotherapist, however, these days you can do a Masters in counseling and a Masters in psychotherapy.

You can also do something called a diploma in counseling, which can take one or two years part-time, and this is less intensive on the academic rigor as a university course will expect.

For such a course the amount of personal counseling expected of participants might be zero to about forty hours.

Whilst UKCP accreditation expects a minimum of 160 hours over four years.

For some, the diploma training can be the start of a long journey or enough in itself. How long is a piece of string?

What’s important is to find a reputable safe practising person who you can trust has fulfilled an in-depth training minimum of three to four years for a psychotherapist, has completed their training, and has been approved by a governing body that has a safe and good track record.

They will also need a criminal record bureau check and insurance if they are offering you private practice support.

You can expect to meet once a week for up to one hour, in person, on a video call, or over the phone.

You can expect to pay anything from £30 to £100, some people may charge less, if they are starting out, or they can offer you a cheaper rate if you are struggling to afford the sessions.

Some may charge more, if they feel they are worth it and have extensive specialist knowledge and experience.

I would be suspicious if they were asking for a lot more.

I would also be suspicious if they were saying they can fix you, and that they can do this in a short time frame.

As I said many people who train to be a psychotherapist spend a few years in personal psychotherapy, working through their stuff.

If in doubt do your research, ask friends and family for recommendations, and do more research!

It is important to feel safe, or that someone is trying to help you feel safe, and that you can say no at any time.

Places that are generally safe to look for someone to help you can be on the different governing bodies’ websites.

For example, if you want a creative approach you might seek out a drama therapist at BADTH or you might want a counselor from NSCP or you might want a body-orientated psychotherapist from EABP.

Have a look around, and always have an initial meeting with someone to get a feel for them. Have some questions for them, it’s a two-way interview at this point.

I hope you have found this helpful. Good luck!

Sophie Rogers https://www.bacp.co.uk

Psychotherapist and Supervisor registered with ADMPUK