What Is the Difference Between Counseling and Therapy?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between counseling and therapy? Although the two terms are often flung around interchangeably and have similar aspects, they are not one and the same.

Knowing what sets them apart can help you choose the option that perfectly suits your needs. Read this article to help you delineate the differences between counseling and therapy and determine which one may be the right option for you.

What Is Counseling?

The term “counseling” generally means the act of giving advice. Counseling essentially involves at least two people working together to solve a particular problem—a collaborative effort between the counselor and the client.

In the mental health context, counseling involves the provision of advice by a mental health professional. It is a form of treatment focused on a particular behavior or issue.

Your counselor can provide you with expert advice and guidance on how to effectively manage your personal, social, or emotional problems. For example, there is drug rehab counseling for those who want to overcome substance abuse. Meanwhile, couples facing issues with their marriage can go through couples counseling. Whatever adversity you’re facing in your life at the moment, a counselor can help you navigate it.

What Is Therapy?

Therapy, unlike counseling, addresses a broader range of issues. It is a more long-term treatment approach that aims to help people to live well with their mental health problems or conquer their emotional issues.

A therapist is a licensed medical professional that has advanced training in the evaluation, diagnoses, and treatment of mental disorders and emotional difficulties. Once your therapist confirms a diagnosis of any of the following disorders, they will likely recommend therapy:

  • Anxiety disorders– Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorders
  • Mood disorders- Depression or bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders- Binge eating, anorexia, or bulimia
  • Psychotic disorders- Schizophrenia

To take full control of your symptoms, your therapist can help you identify, interrupt, and alter unhealthy and potentially destructive thought patterns. Your therapist can also help you build self-confidence, create and strengthen healthy coping mechanisms, and improve social functioning.

Counseling and Psychotherapy Services in New York City, NY, and Southbury, CT

If you live in and around New York City or Southbury area in Connecticut, visit us at Psy-Visions for a consultation with Dr. Mark Stracks. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who constantly strives to deliver the highest caliber of care for the full range of mental health conditions and disorders. Dr. Stracks offers counseling and psychotherapy services and believes in the importance of encouraging our patients to take an active role in their care.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stracks, you may reach our New York City clinic at (718) 887-2918 or at (203) 405-1745 for our Southbury clinic. You may also request an appointment online.

Have a Question?