The terms ‘counselling’ and ‘therapy’ are often thrown around and regularly interchanged. However, whilst there are some similarities, the main difference between the two is the various approaches each takes towards problem solving.
Counselling can often be differentiated based on client relationships, and how they interact with their clients. Counselling sessions are led by the individual which gives you the opportunity to openly discuss your concerns or problems with a trained professional in a confidential and safe environment. Throughout your counselling session, you’ll be encouraged to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to allow you the chance to better understand yourself and how these may have contributed to the obstacles you now face.
Through the exploration methods provided, counsellors will help guide you into finding your own solutions, making positive changes in your life and adopting coping mechanisms to help deal with your problems.
Integrative counselling focuses on bringing together various types of counselling approaches with the understanding that each individual is very different. Your circumstances, feelings and emotions are unique to you and integrative counselling therefore recognises this. By bringing together various different approaches to counselling, integrative counselling aims to make long term positive impacts on your life. In this type of counselling, person-centred, cognitive behavioural therapy and psychodynamic counselling are combined and tailored to your specific needs.
Integrative counselling promotes self-exploration and the need for full self-awareness of fears, limiting beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. Through exploration strategies set out by the counsellor, you are encouraged to identify key factors in your actions, along with emotional triggers, in a non-judgemental and supportive way. This type of counselling is particularly beneficial to those seeking to overcome anxiety, depression, fears and traumas.
Developed by Sigmund Freud with a belief that unconscious processes, learned in response to past events, have an influence over your current behaviour. Freudian psychology believes your personality is made up of 3 interacting areas to create complicated human behaviours; the id (unconscious mind) the ego (rational thinking) and the superego (perceived ideal states). Psychodynamic counselling looks to understand your personality and encourages you to achieve a greater level of self-awareness. It does this by guiding you to understand your unconscious and conscious belief levels. Counsellors then use personality insights to identify unresolved conflicts and understand how negative experiences, such as childhood neglect or abandonment, manifest themselves in later life.
In psychodynamic counselling, the approaches used place emphasis on understanding how the unconscious parts of your mind are in constant conflict with the conscious parts of your mind, with the aim of balancing these out. All behaviours have a cause and motivation and therefore through better understanding of your unconscious mind, and deep-rooted childhood experiences, your counsellor can help you determine how your personality has been shaped, and work through any implications of these insights.
Through the focus on psychological development, this counselling approach guides you on how to manage adversities and cope with adjustments to the current life changes you face in adulthood. By allowing you to lead the discussions, and adopting a neutral, friendly stance, counsellors are able to to avoid relationships becoming too personal and further prevent any effects this may have on the ability to become aware of the unconscious mind. Psychodynamic counselling is a short-term approach, with strategies used in treatment for addictions, substance abuse, relationship issues, grief and family matters.
Person-centred counselling centres on the belief that, given the right tools and situations, a person can reach their full potential and become the best version of themselves. This can also be achieved based upon the relationship between you and your counsellor. Person centred counsellors are encouraged to be empathic (understanding of your viewpoint), congruent (consistent and genuine) and adopt the ability to practice an unconditional positive regard (non-judgemental attitude). Person-centred counselling encourages you to lead sessions and discuss your issues openly. The counsellor will then guide you into exploring your worldview to help determine the impact that your current beliefs, feelings and behaviours are having on your life.
With the correct resources and support, the counsellor is able to help you reach your full potential by allowing you to recognise the ability to handle adversities and deal with problems. And through adopting the methods laid out in sessions, the view is that self-healing can be encouraged.
See MYNDUP’s range of counsellors here: myndup.com/booking