Are you considering exploring private therapy in London? It's a great idea to search for a therapist using the online search function of a trusted website that only lists certified professionals. During your evaluation, one of the things that will be discussed is what treatment or therapeutic approach is likely to be best for you. There is a wide range of therapies available, and it can be confusing to understand which one is right for you. In reality, your therapist will often draw on more than one therapeutic approach.
If you have any questions about the different therapies, discuss them with your therapist during or after the initial evaluation. It's important to understand the differences between a counselor and a psychotherapist, how a psychotherapist is different from a counseling psychologist or psychiatrist, and which one is right for you. A psychotherapist is highly trained in talk therapy, the art of listening and responding in a professional manner. This means that they are specialists in helping you recognize what worries you, where your problems may arise from, and how you want to address your problems and move forward. Not all psychotherapists are the same.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to therapy, from psychodynamics to existential to Jungian and more. Your psychotherapist will use one or a combination of approaches, which you can ask about in your first session. For serious conditions that require a treatment plan, they'll work together with a psychiatrist to help. Some psychotherapists trained in the United Kingdom choose to call themselves counselors if they think it's a friendlier term, demonstrating how closely related these professions have become. A counselor in the UK is in many ways on a par with a psychotherapist, as they are equally capable of listening and responding professionally.
That said, some counselors focus on your past more than others, and are just as capable of helping you with your life in general as a psychotherapist. It is also often considered more short-term than psychotherapy. While some counselors certainly offer limited-time help, it's just as possible to work with a counselor for several years. If there were a solid difference between psychotherapists and counselors in the United Kingdom, it would be that of the theoretical framework and the approach to training. A counseling course generally provides an overview of most types of therapeutic thinking, but may focus more on practical implications than a psychotherapy course, which could include more theory.
In some cases, counselors may be trained for one year less than a psychotherapist, and some counseling courses only last three years. But this depends on the school your counselor attended and the theoretical framework you chose to study. And a counselor can receive additional training or even other degrees. For example, a counselor may take developmental courses where he works quite psychotherapeutically with clients. Or they can take a conversion course that means that they are also psychotherapists, such as a two-year conversion course in child psychotherapy. In short, when it comes to the difference between a counselor or a psychotherapist, it's not as simple as you'd like it to be.
Are you still confused about the differences between psychotherapy and counseling? Read our most comprehensive article on the differences between psychotherapy and counseling. A counseling psychologist is once again on par with a psychotherapist and a counselor when it comes to highly attuned listening skills and tools to help you move forward in life. After earning his degree in psychology, a counseling psychologist would have decided to devote himself to practical applications of psychology rather than research. This means that they continued with a doctorate in counseling psychology. In general, a counseling psychologist degree requires five to eight years of education (for more information, read our guide on how to become a counseling psychologist). Counseling psychologists can help you with the same life problems as a counselor or psychotherapist.
They only have the added perspective of understanding the scientific and medical point of view of certain mental health challenges which may or may not be useful when working with you in a clinical setting. In this sense, they are similar to psychotherapists and counselors. A psychiatrist is someone who originally trained as a doctor and later decided to specialize in mental dysfunction and mental disorders (psychiatry). They could have even specialized more in a specific type of psychiatry such as child psychiatry. Psychiatrists deal primarily with syndromes and disorders such as severe depression, personality disorders, ADHD, panic disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They evaluate and diagnose these disorders and develop a treatment plan to help.
This may include psychological therapy (possibly with another therapist) and medications. In general, you see a psychiatrist when you have an extensive mental health problem that has taken over your life and requires medication to treat it. Otherwise I would book with a psychotherapist, counselor or counseling psychologist. If they think you need to see a psychiatrist they will usually let you know and refer you to another location.
You may find a certified counselor with ten years of experience better suited for you than a therapist with multiple degrees in psychotherapy, but only one or two years in practice. However there are associations that psychotherapists and counselors with the right education and experience can join. Does it matter if your counselor or psychotherapist belongs to an association?.