There kind of isn’t any.
Many people in the business use these terms interchangeably.
To me, it is more the feel of the words, or the individual meaning people attach to them. “Counseling” sounds kind of soft, helpful, like guidance, help, advising. Guidance Counselors, Academic Counselors, School Counselors, Personal Counselors.
Psychotherapy sounds….what…..deeper? Or like a more in-depth process? Like getting down into the deep, old stuff, the family stuff, the trauma, that kind of thing. Unearthing stuff you forgot was there, working with unconscious “material”, as some call it in the biz.
But you should know that some professionals will use the term “Counseling” to mean what I just described as “Psychotherapy”, and vice-versa.
I know–it’s confusing.
And “Therapy“? Well, same difference. “I’m in therapy” kind of means “I am going to see somebody regularly to try to work out some stuff in my life.”
Some “Therapists” work with more somatic/body processes. Some do “Art Therapy”, using art-making as a way to explore what is going on in one’s life and psyche. Many of us do “Talk Therapy.” That’ what it sounds like.
Still, overall, “Therapy” is a lousy word for what we Helping Professionals do. I will tackle that in my next article…
And if you are interested in Counseling, Psychotherapy, or Therapy (it probably doesn’t matter what you call it….) contact me, and we can figure out what your insurance covers, and whether we might be a good fit…
Jim Nolan, Licensed Psychologist #1382, New Mexico