Many people get really confused about the differences in what the various therapists offer and think that basically they are all the same but with some minor differences and they are interchangeable. The clarity is further confused because some countries expect different things, training and qualifications from their therapists.
In Australia, Psychiatrists are medical Doctors who are specialists in diagnosing and treating mental disorders. This is done through medication and other medical models. They do not counsel.
Psychologists, work in many areas however only Clinical Psychologists work in the therapy of their clients who have a mental dysfunction. In order to counsel, they must have specialist training to practice in this way.
Counsellors should be trained, experienced, hold a qualification in Counselling and be a member of a Counselling Association. Unfortunately, in Australia anyone may call themselves a Counsellor and practice. This can be a highly risky process for a client to be a part of potentially causing untold damage to emotionally and psychologically vunerable people.
So what is Counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a Counsellor and Client/s.
Counsellors are active and professional listeners aiding the client to work towards a change in their circumstances. Various methods and strategies are utilized in order for this to happen.
Although Counsellors are not authorized to diagnose mental illnesses, some Counsellors, are skilled at treating clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression etc,.
Counselling involves a therapeutic relationship between two or more people who are both working towards the overcoming of a particular issue or issues. It is an essential part of that relationship that both Counsellor and the Client/s are committed to achieving positive outcomes.