119. What is the Difference between Psychotherapy and Counseling?

Psychotherapy is defined by its two root words: psycho meaning breath/spirit/soul and therapy meaning healing. Thus, psychotherapy is the healing of the soul and/or spirit. My brother Bill, a clinical psychologist, practices deep healing psychotherapy.

Counseling deals with the symptoms of daily living problems and behavior modification. There is marriage counseling, pastoral counseling, counseling for emotional disturbances, counseling for depression, and so forth. The goal of such counseling is to solve problems, help a person think differently, and guide a person to behave differently. “You have an abnormal fear of crowds; here’s how we will diminish that fear.”

Psychotherapy, on the other hand deals with

the deep seated issues behind the faulty thinking of behavior, the causes behind the symptoms. “You have an abnormal fear of crowds; let’s find out where that fear came from and bring healing at that point.”

Secular psychotherapy seeks healing of the mind, will, and emotions (soul) of an individual. Deep healing psychotherapy seeks healing of the soul and the spirit.

Notice I’m speaking of processes, not professionals. A counselor may practice psychotherapy, whereas a psychotherapist may practice counseling. Today the words are used loosely. A professional may call himself/herself a psychotherapist while really practicing counseling; and a professional may call himself/herself a counselor while really practicing psychotherapy. If you are seeking a psychotherapist, go by the process being used, not the title.

One more distinction – counseling is a matter of change; psychotherapy is a matter of transformation. A beautiful illustration of transformation for a person depressed is a butterfly (the word for butterfly in Greek is the same as for soul, viz., psyche). A rather ugly caterpillar goes into a cocoon and from there is transformed into a beautiful flying creature. A person depressed goes into a time of seeking deep healing and is transformed into a person who has triumphed over depression.

About Patrick Day

triumphoverdepression.org This blog is my ministry to support those who are depressed, in gratefulness for my having overcome major depression. Read "About Patrick Day" just to the right of "home" on the top of the blog site to find out more particulars about me. I retired from a career in higher education, where I served as Dean of Instruction, and promptly moved into a life of purposelessness and despair for five years, finally coming out on the other side. I am now an author, a business and life coach, a writer of this blog, and a volunteer for various organizations. What I write about in this blog is not hypothetical comments on depression. I have been there, felt the horrible pain, had my life disrupted, and experienced everything that I write about. I pray that I may be a blessing to you.
This entry was posted in Psychotherapy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s