Clinical Psychologist & Trauma Therapist

Dr Lara Lagutina, London SE16


    Counsellor or psychotherapist?

These titles may relate to specific training the professionals have, with psychotherapy training usually being longer (at least two years, but normally four or five). At the same time, counselling training also varies considerably in length, breadth of coverage and focus. Therefore, in practice there may not be much difference between the two and it is more important to look at the specific training the particular counsellor or psychotherapist have had.

Another difference may be related to the length and depth of work that is usually offered. Thus, psychotherapists traditionally offer a wider spectrum of treatment ranging from short-term work focused on issues most relevant to the client at present (e.g a particular work-related or relationship issue) to long-term treatment aiming at deeper personality changes, whereas counselors, particularly those working in the voluntary sector, tend to offer more short-term involvement, often with a specific focus.

However, this is not always as clearcut and what is probably more important is the particular approach your chosen counsellor or psychotherapist works within, such as psychodynamic, client-centred, cognitive-behavioural or integrative as well as the client categories they work with, i.e. children, adults, couples and families, etc.