Counselling, Psychotherapy & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Counselling, psychotherapy and CBT are all psychological therapies that overlap in certain areas. They are often referred to as 'talking therapies' and 'Therapy' is the word used to describe all three.

Here is a very brief and general summary of Counselling, Psychotherapy and CBT.

  • Counselling can be either short-term (6-12 weeks) or long-term (open-ended) work. When the work is short-term it focuses on a specific problem that someone is facing in the 'here and now'. The work can involve issues such as problems at work, bereavement, a relationship breakdown, redundancy, confidence and self-esteem issues.

    When the work is long term (open-ended) it usually addresses deeper personal issues. The open-ended process gives clients more time to explore their issues and it allows the therapeutic process to unfold in its own time. Sessions are 50 minutes and they are normally weekly, although this may vary.
  • Psychotherapy is normally a longer, open-ended process. Like long-term counselling, psychotherapy usually addresses deeper personal issues. It allows the process to unfold in its own time and it gives clients more time to explore their issues and make links between past and present behaviours and experiences. Sessions are 50 minutes and may be more than once a week.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is normally more short-term work (6-12 weeks) with 50 minute sessions. CBT helps people focus on the way they think and act in order to overcome emotional and behavioural problems. It is based on the principle that behaviour is learnt and can therefore be unlearnt. CBT is often used in work with addictions, depression, phobias and anxiety disorder.

BACP