The main differences between the two approaches:
Counselling is an approach that has a focus on the immediate or pressing problem and is usually short term. This is normally for a period of 6 to 12 weeks but in some cases it can be longer.
Psychotherapy usually involves periods longer than 12 weeks, sometimes years. It often leads to a deeper, more established relationship between client and therapist in which more profound and deep-seated issues can be explored.
Both Counselling and Psychotherapy require their therapist to have undertaken in-depth training and professional development. The therapist should be a member, of either UKCP or BACP and must have Clinical Supervision for their work. It is a recommendation of the two associations that a practicing therapist should continue professional development in order to keep up-to-date with their learning.
What is really important in both Counselling and Psychotherapy is, confidentiality. This allows the therapeutic relationship to develop and for the client to reach a place where deep seated issues (often from childhood) can be explored in a safe environment,
Confidentiality is invaluable in a therapeutic relationship as a fundamental part of building trust and I follow the guidelines of the BACP ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. However, confidentiality is not absolute, and there are exceptions.
The only reasons for breaking confidentiality would be if the therapist considered that you were putting your life at serious risk, if another person’s life was at risk, or if the therapist was liable to civil or criminal court proceedings if information was not disclosed. If at all possible this would be discussed with you beforehand.
Confidentiality contributes greatly to the client’s sense of safety and is one of the things that makes the therapeutic relationship different from any other. Counselling and psychotherapy encourages clients to be as open and honest about themselves as possible, and inevitably, this involves clients discussing personal experiences and sensitive information with their therapist. Therefore, it is of great importance that the client can trust that what they are disclosing about themselves will remain confidential.
Healthier Mind keeps all records securely and will ensure the utmost confidentiality in the treatment of any information held about its clients, in line with the Code of Ethics of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Data Protection Act 1998.
Contracts and boundaries
I will agree a Framework with my clients and you will sign a contract covering the limits of confidentiality
I consult regularly with my clinical supervisor and occasionally with other professionals regarding my clients; however, the client’s full name or other identifying information is never disclosed. The client’s identity remains anonymous and confidentiality is fully maintained.