I am sometimes asked about the terms used in my profession. People say "what is the difference between 'counselling' and 'psychotherapy'?" Well, there are differing views on this. Some would say that actually there is no difference, while others argue that one is not the same as the other. The Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP), which is the governing body that I belong to, recently presented a position paper. In it they state that there is no difference between the two terms. Generally, the words counselling and psychotherapy are used interchangingly. Some suggest that the number of sessions determine whether it is counselling or psychotherapy. I think that what is important is that a client who has chosen to come for sessions, is met with a professionally trained Counsellor / Psychotherapist who has the skills and experience to provide whatever is appropriate to the needs of the client at any time. In my view, a key consideration is the connection between both parties, and this trumps whether I am called a counsellor or psychotherapist.
(for the full IACP document, see http://www.iacp.ie/files/UserFiles/IACP-Position-Paper-on-Regulation-and-the-Difference-between-Counselling-and-Psychotherapy-April-2015.pdf )
Graham Matthews MIACP
I'm a professionally qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness Teacher working privately in South Dublin. I am fully accredited with IACP. From time to time, I blog about counselling related topics, mindfulness and other things that interest me.