Counseling versus psychotherapy: is there a difference between the two? This paper will attempt to prove that there are several differences between counseling and psychotherapy. While both have several different elements, the following information will also attempt to show the reader that there are some areas where the two overlap. At times, this was a confusing topic to research. A fine line distinguishes the two topics, and one must look hard to see this line.
Definition of Counseling: One survey taken by Gustad suggests a definition of counseling that includes three key elements. Counseling is a learning-oriented process carried out in a simple, one-to-one social environment. A counselor, who is professionally competent in relevant psychological skills and knowledge, seeks to assist the client by using methods appropriate to the latter’s needs and within the context of the total personnel program. The goal is to help the client learn more about themselves, learn how to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, realistically defined goals, and ultimately become a happier and more productive member of society (Gustad, 1957, p. 36). In lay terms, counseling can be described as a face-to-face relationship with the goal of helping a client learn or acquire new skills to cope and adjust to life situations. The focus is to help a person reach maximum fulfillment or potential and become fully functioning as a person.
Definition of Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is the process in which a therapist assists the client in reorganizing their personality. The therapist also helps the client integrate insights into everyday behavior. Psychotherapy can be defined as more inclusive re-education of the individual” (Brammer; Shostrom, 1977).
Objectives of Counseling: The objectives of counseling, according to the Committee on Definition, Division of Counseling Psychology, American Psychological Association, are to “help individuals toward overcoming obstacles to their personal growth, wherever these may be encountered, and toward achieving optimum development of their personal resources” (Arbuckle, 1967). Dr. [Name] wrote a paper on this topic.
In T. Millard’s statement, it is noted that counseling provides clarity and a constructive venue for individuals to examine their instinctive-emotional and rational (or irrational) motives that determine their drive, content, and form of human conduct. This illustrates the role counseling plays in a client’s treatment.
According to Everett Shostrom (1967), the objective of psychotherapy is to become an actualizer, someone who values themselves and others as individuals rather than objects and who transforms their self-defeating manipulations into self-fulfilling potentials (p. 9). Shostrom also believes that awareness is the goal of psychotherapy, stating, Change occurs with awareness!” (1967, p. ).
Shostrom believes that awareness is a form of non-striving that is achieved by being present in the moment, even if that means adopting a phony and manipulative role for external support (1967, p. 103). However, not all therapists agree on the distinction between counseling and psychotherapy.
H. Patterson feels that it is impossible to make a distinction. He believes that the definition of counseling equally applies to psychotherapy and vice versa. Donald Arbuckle (1967) argues that counseling and psychotherapy are identical in all essential aspects. Others believe that there is a distinction. Psychotherapy is concerned with some type of personality change, whereas counseling is concerned with helping individuals utilize their full coping potential. In Donald Arbuckle’s work, he included Leona Tyler’s thoughts on the differences between counseling and psychotherapy.
Leona Tyler attempts to differentiate between counseling and psychotherapy by stating that to remove physical and mental handicaps or to rid of limitations is not the job of the counselor. This is the job of the therapist, which is aimed essentially at change rather than fulfillment” (Arbuckle 1967).
One of the major distinctions between counseling and psychotherapy is the focus. In counseling, the counselor will focus on the “here and now,” reality situations. During psychotherapy, the therapist looks into the unconscious or past.
A psychotherapist is looking for a connection between past unresolved problems and their manifestation in the present real world. Donald Arbuckle states, There is a further distinction to be made. This involves the nature or content of the problem which the client brings to the counselor. A distinction is attempted between reality-oriented problems and those problems which are inherent in the individual’s personality” (1967, p. [page number missing]).
Counseling and psychotherapy also differentiate when it comes to the.