These terms are sometimes used interchangeably but some say it is used to highlight the level of education or credentialing. In some states, a therapist may have had more training and be more credentialed; whereas a counselor may not be credentialed and may have a bachelor’s degree, not a master’s. Counselor’s can have a graduate degree and even an independent license but prefer the words counselor instead of therapist, like me!
Counseling: Here the session’s focus may be geared toward a specific issue, for example, a child’s self-esteem or for adults- obtaining a desired healthy relationship. I’d help find ways to resolve a more superficial issue in shorter periods of time and guide you to discover answers to problems and support decisions made.
Therapy: Here meetings are for longer time span and we build a closer in-depth relationship, what I like to call a therapeutic alliance! Therapy considers recurrent feelings and overall patterns to issues. In therapy, I provide individualized support and provide appropriate feedback that may have been cause by a trauma or a history of similar reoccurring difficulties in relationships.
Some may not come to counseling or therapy to talk about issues. Some people turn to counseling or therapy to develop a purpose or even to find meaning in life. I like to ask about goals for therapy or counseling. I like to talk about commitment in therapy and how it is going to take dedication and hard work to make changes in behavior and thought patterns to learn new ways to cope with behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.