Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy

Counselling vs. Psychotherapy: What’s the Difference?

Counselling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences:
Counselling addresses specific issues like relationship problems or stress management, offering short-term, problem-focused support. Psychotherapy delves deeper into underlying patterns and emotions, aiming for long-term personal growth and change.
 Counselling focuses on practical solutions and coping strategies, while psychotherapy involves a more in-depth exploration of past experiences and thought patterns.
In summary, counselling is best suited for short-term, specific concerns, while psychotherapy offers deeper, long-term support for personal growth and change. Both are valuable forms of mental health support, tailored to individual needs and preferences.

What is Counselling?

Counselling is a collaborative effort between the counsellor and client. Professional counsellors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behaviour change and optimal mental health.

Therapy provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk to about your issues and concerns. Your therapist will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and of others.

A counsellor will not give you their opinions or advice or prescribe medication. They will help you find your own solutions – whether that’s making effective changes in your life or finding ways of coping with your problems.

Counselling can take different forms depending on your needs and what type of therapy may be suitable.

Most therapy takes place in planned, regular sessions which last for around 50 minutes. How often you see your therapist and how many appointments you have will depend on your individual circumstances, and will be agreed upon between you and your therapist.

During a session, your therapist may take you through specific exercises designed to help with your problem, or you might have more general discussions about how you’re feeling. What you talk about will vary depending on what you want help with and the therapist’s approach. It could include:

  • your relationships
  • your childhood
  • your feelings, emotions or thoughts
  • your behaviour
  • past and present life events
  • situations you find difficult

Your therapist will be impartial but understanding. They will listen to you without judgment and help you explore your thoughts and emotions. They may offer information, but they won’t tell you what you should think or do.

What Can I Expect From Therapy?

Beginning therapy can evoke feelings of uncertainty, but having an understanding of what to anticipate can ease some of the apprehension. Here’s what you can typically expect from the therapy process:

1. A Safe and Confidential Environment: Therapy sessions offer a secure, non-judgmental space where you can freely express your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Therapists adhere to strict confidentiality, ensuring that your discussions remain private.

2. Collaborative Relationship: Therapy involves a collaborative partnership between you and your therapist. Together, you’ll work towards comprehending your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, while also developing coping strategies and solutions to life’s challenges.

3. Goal-Oriented Approach: Therapy is goal-oriented, meaning you and your therapist will establish specific objectives to pursue throughout the therapeutic journey. These objectives may evolve over time as you progress in therapy.

4. Effective Techniques and Strategies: Depending on the therapeutic approach employed, your therapist may introduce various techniques and strategies to assist you in addressing your concerns. These may include cognitive-behavioural techniques, mindfulness exercises, or exploring past experiences.

5. Insight and Self-Discovery: Therapy provides an opportunity for self-reflection and self-discovery. Through exploring your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you may gain deeper insights into yourself, your relationships, and your behavioural patterns.

6. Support and Validation: Your therapist acts as a supportive ally throughout your journey, offering validation, empathy, and encouragement. They’re there to assist you in navigating challenges, celebrating successes, and providing guidance along the way.

7. Personal Growth and Empowerment: Ultimately, therapy aims to foster personal growth and empowerment. As you progress in therapy, you’ll develop greater self-awareness, resilience, and the skills necessary to lead a more fulfilling life.

Remember, the therapy process is highly individualised, and your experience may differ based on your unique needs and goals. It’s perfectly natural to have questions or concerns about therapy, and your therapist is there to address them and support you every step of the way.

Frequency and length of Sessions

Therapy sessions are typically scheduled on a weekly basis, providing clients with consistent support and guidance. However, the frequency of sessions may vary depending on individual needs and therapist recommendations. In some cases, particularly during times of crisis or in the early stages of therapy, sessions may be scheduled more frequently, such as twice a week.

Ideally, counselling is terminated when the problem that you pursued counselling for becomes more manageable or is resolved.
Sessions last for 50 minutes.


We understand that there may be occasions when you need to cancel or reschedule a weekly session. If this arises, please provide the specified notice period as outlined during your initial session. Failure to do so may result in the full session fee being charged. Missed appointments will also incur charges. 

Contact Outside of Sessions:

During your first session, your therapist will establish guidelines for communication outside of therapy sessions. While maintaining a professional relationship, limited contact outside of therapy is advised. It’s best to address concerns, issues, and questions within the therapeutic space. In the event of emergencies, your therapist will agree on a secure and supportive method of contact with you.