What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling tends to be shorter in duration and focussed on a particular issue or circumstance. People may come into counselling after a distressing event such as bereavement, a relationship break up, divorce or job loss. Therapy tends to last a few weeks or months until the client has regained a sense of well being.
Psychotherapy tends to be deeper, longer term work which looks at how current problems may be manifestations of unresolved childhood issues.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) doesn’t distinguish between counselling and psychotherapy, seeing them as umbrella terms for a variety of different talking therapies. In practice therefore, the terms are often used interchangeably. However, The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) acknowledges that psychotherapy training tends to be longer (typically four to five years part time compared with three to four years for counselling) and students are required to have extensive personal therapy as a key part of their training. Some counselling training courses require little or no personal therapy.
What is transpersonal integrative psychotherapy?
Apart from being a bit of a mouthful, it’s a type of therapy. Transpersonal literally means ‘beyond the personal’ and indicates that the therapy allows for the spiritual side of human experience to emerge within the work. I may work with dreams, meditation or visualisation to help uncover outdated thoughts and beliefs that might be having a negative effect on your wellbeing.
Any therapeutic modality that’s described as integrative draws on a range of theories, models and disciplines rather than focussing on one.
How long will this take?
Clients often ask this question but it's a little like asking, how long is a piece of string? What may seem like short term work can last a lot longer as clients continue to explore material they want to process. Alternatively, clients who seem to need longer term work might complete their process within 10 sessions. Some clients work on a particular issue, leave and come back later to work on something else. Therapy is a process that you can't get wrong.