Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking, as counselling is, but psychotherapy often involves a psychiatrist or psychologist rather than a counsellor. Psychotherapy typically involves more skill than counselling, and is a longer-term treatment.
You may be referred to psychotherapy for treatment of a particular disorder, as opposed to seeing a counsellor for one of the reasons we discussed in the previous lesson.
Psychotheraphy focuses on chonic problems, both physical and emotional, to gain an insight into the person’s thoughts and how these are influenced by the past and affecting the present. It addresses the root cause of the problem, and aims to develop lasting change.
Whereas counselling guides people to work out their own solutations, psychotherapy can involve testing, and therapies such as CBT or DBT.
A psychotherapist is usually a better option than a counsellor if:
- you are coping with past traumas
- you have a chronic illness that is affecting your emotional wellbeing
- you have problems impacting your relationships or work
- you have a diagnosed disorder such as BPD
- you’ve seen a counsellor but don’t feel it has helped
It is important to remember that you are the client, and need to find the right therapist for you. Personalities differ, and it’s important find a therapist that you can work with long-term, in a safe and trusted environment.