With the recent media and government focus on the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy, we thought it timely to explain what these terms mean. When you’re searching for emotional and psychological assistance, how do you tell a psychologist from a counsellor, and what’s a psychotherapist anyway? How are they trained? What do they do? And what does regulation mean for you and for the industry?
What is counselling? Counselling means different things to different people. To some it’s a process where specific issues are discussed with an aim to resolution. To others, counselling involves a wide-ranging, interpersonal exploration that can lead to personal growth. A third view of counselling is as a means of social control or punishment, as in “the full-forward has apologised to his teammates’ wives and is being counselled about the incident”.