Is counselling or psychotherapy for you?

There are many similarities and overlaps between psychotherapy and counselling:

  • Counselling usually focuses on specific issues/problems and tends to be shorter term.
  • Psychotherapy is a more wide ranging and a longer process which aims at deeper changes in the personality.


The aim of counselling is to provide an opportunity for a client to work towards living in a more satisfying and resourceful way.
British Association of Counselling 1991

There are times when circumstances, situations or events, old or new, are harder than usual to deal with or are even overwhelming. Talking things through with a trained and experienced counsellor can ease the sense of isolation you may be feeling and reveal unexpected sources of strength and insights. This can lead to more choice in dealing with problems.

Two things in life are rare. Time for yourself, and someone who will listen to what you have to say without jumping to give directions and advice. Your counsellor may at times ask questions, make observations or suggest ways forward. Mainly, however, they will provide you with a space that is just for you, listen to you and help you clarify and understand difficult thoughts and feelings.


Psychotherapy offers a secure and confidential relationship through which you can come to understand yourself and your life in a new way. It is an opportunity to see and make sense of long-standing patterns of thinking and behaviour. It can help to explore and understand thoughts and feelings which may seem overwhelming, frightening or confusing. It is a chance to discover that you have choices where previously you felt you had none and an opportunity to resolve old hurts and conflicts to enable you to move on. It will also help you to understand your patterns of relationship, partly by focussing on your relationship with the psychotherapist.

People often enter therapy when there is a crisis in their life and they feel at the end of their tether. They have often been through the usual recourses – GP, family, friends and feel that it is no longer possible or permissible to seek further help or support from them. They might need the skill, time and confidentiality that a professional can give. People may turn to psychotherapy when they have tried everything else, or because the help has been temporary or piecemeal and they are aware of some deeper-rooted problem which remains untouched.

The Low Cost Counselling Centrecounselling or psychotherapyLife Problems

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