Psychotherapy vs. Counseling
When it comes to treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, people often use the term psychotherapy vs. counseling interchangeably. Although both disciplines have some similarities, they also differ in their approach. Knowing the difference can help clients decide which type of treatment is best for their condition. Let’s take a closer look at psychotherapy vs. counseling to identify their similarities and differences.
What distinguishes psychotherapy vs. counseling is the training and education required to acquire certification. Psychotherapy is considered by most experts to be a medical form of treatment that aligns with psychiatry. As such, the focus is to determine the underlying cause of addiction and treat the condition using evidence-based forms of therapy.
There are several types of psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, EMDR, trauma therapy, or motivational interviewing. All forms of psychotherapy include some level of interaction between the therapist and the client. The therapist can conduct a session in both individual and group settings.
The benefits of psychotherapy include:
- Teaches clients how to manage symptoms of mental disorders
- Identifies the underlying causes of addiction
- Backed by scientific research, academic study, and peer-reviewed observation
- Provides a long-term solution to disorders or drug/alcohol dependency
- Enlists a wide range of techniques and approaches to help a client
In many ways, a counselor approaches problem-solving in the same way as a therapist. They engage with the client through talk therapy. The purpose of counseling is to identify the problems, explore the causes, and help the client manage the symptoms of the problem.
Yet counseling does not always dive into problems that may be considered clinical or medical in nature. For instance, a person suffering from alcoholism may also have a severe mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety.
These are disorders that require intense therapy, long-term or terminal care, and, possibly, medication. Counseling does not always address the problems at this level. This main difference between psychotherapy vs. counseling.
The benefits of counseling include:
- Helps a client solve short-term problems
- Provides a solution for issues that do not require intense therapy
- Teaches clients coping skills for everyday problems
- Encourages clients to make changes in their lifestyle, career, or relationships
- Helps clients who have a manageable addiction
Psychotherapy vs. Counseling: Which is Best for You?
If you have an addiction or suffer from emotional/mental problems, you may not know what type of treatment is best for you. Furthermore, you may discover that you need both therapy and counseling at different stages of your recovery.
The best way to identify which type of treatment is best for you is to discuss your condition with a treatment specialist. They can help you develop a treatment plan that may include either psychotherapy or counseling or both. The key to finding the right treatment is to be open-minded and pursue a treatment plan that provides a long-term solution.
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center Today
If you need help identifying the differences between psychotherapy vs. counseling, then contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center. We offer comprehensive treatment for addiction and mental disorders. Call us at 855.786.1978 to get started with your treatment plan.