Therapist is a term used to describe a professionally trained individual who works with clients on relationship, personal and mental health issues.

In particular, psychotherapists provide 'therapy" - focusing in on analysis of the past, a review of meaning and reason, understanding the "why" of a client's feelings and belief systems. Therapy is about making sense of where you have come from, where you have been, in order to better understand where you are today.

While this means that psychotherapists are skilled at assisting clients with issues such as depression and anxiety, having a mental health concern is not a prerequisite for seeking help. In fact, counsellors often see clients who are dealing with relationship, marital, personal growth issues, and many other matters that do not fall within the parameters of a diagnosable mental health concern.

Because of this, and a psychotherapist's understanding of the human condition, therapy can be helpful to anyone looking to make changes in their life, cope with troubling problems, heal old wounds or discover meaning and reason behind what is happening in their life.

Typically, psychotherapists have a Master's degree or higher and have undergone extensive training and supervision by other trained professionals in order to register as a qualified practitioner.

In my case, I have a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and a Masters of Counselling, and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology along with extensive client experience in Australia and France since 2000. I am a Clinical Member of PACFA (national governing bodies for psychotherapists and counsellors in Australia). 



A counsellor sounds a lot like a psychotherapist in explanation but there are some key differences worth mentioning. Counselling has a more present-focused, direction-oriented path. It deals with the NOW of a client's experience (rather than the past, reasons, analysis, meaning), helping you to work on issues affecting your life currently, in a positive and empowering way by generating clarity around the issues, exploring options, developing strategies and increasing self-awareness.

Anyone who is struggling with a personal concern can seek counselling. Common personal concerns include relationship difficulties, grief, difficult life circumstances, anxiety and depression, disconnection from the self and loved ones, life transition, loss, confusion, self-esteem and confidence, life direction challenges etc.   

Counselling is usually a short-term treatment for a specific problem.

The qualifications are not always clear on this one (and it's always best to ask any prospective counsellor or psychotherapist about their training) but as with my psychotherapist title, my qualifications reach beyond Masters level in Counselling, and include years of experience, further study, professional development and monitoring of ethical standards. 


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