Psychotherapy vs Counseling: Similarities, Differences, and How to Get Started

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Psychotherapy vs Counseling: Similarities, Differences, and How to Get Started

Remember, the first appointment is a great time to ask any questions about the therapy process as well. During an initial session, your therapist will likely explain how therapy works, provide you with information on confidentiality, and ask you to sign some forms. While a phone call won’t guarantee you’ll be able to tell whether the therapist is a good match, it may help you narrow down your options. They also need to feel there is good communication and a mutual willingness to work together.

Counselors also have to gain a certain amount of experience before they can be licensed. This practical training happens under the supervision and guidance of a more senior counselor. Usually, a counselor needs to do 2,000 to 3,000 hours of supervised experience before they qualify for licensing. To practice therapy, a psychotherapist must be licensed in the state they’re in. To obtain such a license, the therapist must take and pass an exam administered by their state.

Rhonda Carlos is a therapist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy, and maintains a private practice in Tulsa,OK. Kelly helps individuals and couples find relief from their struggles and the strength to move forward. Her area of expertise includes anxiety, communication struggles, relationship issues, life’s transitions among many others.

BetterHelp makes professional therapy available anywhere through a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Sign up with BetterHelp and you can get matched to a therapist within 48 hours. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impact any of the editorial content on Forbes Health. Online programs give practitioners the opportunity to upskill without having to commit to coursework or commute to a physical location. The programs are accredited by the American Psychoanalytic Association and Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The second step is to interview the therapists you have found (after doing the above research).

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Read more about Psychotherapy Service in Toronto here.


Start by identifying the specific goals and the challenges you want to address in therapy. Research therapists who specialize in those areas and consider their experience and therapeutic approaches. Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule initial consultations with a few therapists to gauge your comfort level and assess how well you connect. Picking the right therapist involves more than just credentials; it’s about the rapport and trust you can build together to work toward your mental health goals. To determine if the relationship will be a good fit, clients should pay attention to whether or not they felt comfortable (or rushed) in the conversation and how knowledgeable the therapist was about the client’s specific concerns.

Restorative Psychotherapy & Wellness

As sensitive and deeply personal topics are often discussed during psychotherapy, therapists are expected, and usually legally bound, to respect client or patient confidentiality. If you’ve been suffering from extreme anxiety, for example, you might feel better simply because you’re taking action—a sign of hope that things will change. Your psychologist might also offer a fresh perspective early in your treatment that gives you a new understanding of your problem. And even if your problem doesn’t go away after a few sessions, you may feel confident that you’re already making progress and learning new coping skills that will serve you well in the future. Psychologists may work in their own private practice or with a group of other psychologists or health care professionals. Growing Harmony Services is run by Linda Tremblay, who is a licensed clinical mental health counselor as well as a master’s level alcohol and drug counselor. The Nashville Therapy Group is a team of therapists dedicated to providing high quality, modern mental and relational health care to the Nashville community.

(Some insurers require psychologists to check photo IDs, so bring that along, too.) If you’ll be paying for psychotherapy out of pocket, bring along a credit card, checkbook, or cash. Your psychologist might ask you to gather more information, such as logging your reactions to a particular situation as they occur. Or your psychologist might want you to practice new skills between sessions, such as asking someone with an elevator phobia to practice pushing elevator buttons. You might also have reading assignments so you can learn more about a particular topic. Through psychotherapy, psychologists help people of all ages live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.

If you reveal that you plan to hurt yourself or others, for example, your psychologist is duty-bound to report that to authorities for your own protection and the safety of others. Psychologists must also report abuse, exploitation, or neglect of children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. Your psychologist may also have to provide some information in court cases. Through regular practice, you’ll consolidate the gains you’ve made, get through psychotherapy quicker, and maintain your progress after you’re done. To make the most of your time, make a list of the points you want to cover in your first session and what you want to work on in psychotherapy.

The following explain how understanding the role of research helps therapists stay informed about the latest developments and provide the most effective and evidence-based treatments. Case consultation involves seeking guidance and insights from peers or experienced professionals when facing challenging or complex cases.

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