Counselling or psychotherapy - what's the difference?


  • Encourages changes in how you think, act and perceive things
  • Helps you work on and resolve specific and identifies problems and crises
  • Most useful for people who already have an understanding of wellbeing, and who are able to identify the problem(s) they want to resolve.


  • Helps identify thinking, feeling and behaviour patterns linked to problems and difficulties
  • Supports deeper understanding of how psychological, emotional and embodied patterns create or resolve difficulties
  • Leads to self-support and better self-management through greater awareness of thoughts, actions, feelings and choices.

Both counsellors and psychotherapists undergo extensive training in their fields.

A counsellor will offer a more specialised service of communication that concentrates on providing a structure to the counselling experience. So treatment for addiction, for instance, will be offered in progressive stages over a period of time.  The counsellor may work with one preferred types of counselling, such as CBT or existential, or they may work integratively using a range of types according to the needs of the client.

A psychotherapist however, will focus on a deeper awareness of emotional issues, and looks at the foundation of the problem, for example at the root causes of the addiction or addictive behaviour.  A psychotherapist will be able to use their counselling skills, and may also use other therapeutic techniques and skills such as neuro-linguistic programming, gestalt therapy or hypnotherapy.

A psychotherapist will have training and experience in counselling, but a counsellor will not necessarily have the more in-depth knowledge, training and experience of a psychotherapist.