THE TERMS “THERAPY” AND “COUNSELLING” are often used interchangeably in Nigeria, but there are some differences between the two:

How counseling and therapy are similar

Psychotherapy and counseling are both treatments for mental health problems that involve talking with a trained mental health professional. You talk about thoughts, feelings and behaviors to understand them better and work in a collaborative way to promote mental wellness. The term psychotherapy is often used interchangeably with counseling, talk therapy or therapy. There can be a lot of overlap between psychotherapy and counseling.

How they’re different

Broadly speaking, counseling tends to be focused on one specific issue and considered a short-term treatment. You may learn coping techniques and problem-solve the issue together. Psychotherapy tends to treat a broader range of issues and more complex problems. It can be a long-term treatment.

Depending on the type of psychotherapy or counseling offered, goals can include helping people learn to cope with and better manage their responses to life’s stresses, understand and change patterns of behavior that get in the way of their personal goals, have more satisfying relationships and feel more fulfilled.

What type of therapy is best for you?

If you’re trying to figure out where to start, it’s helpful to reflect on your current difficulties and what you’re expecting from treatment before you get started.

Additionally, you can read about the different types of therapies available. Some therapies are better suited for certain conditions than others. Looking up the mental health professional’s profiles to see their areas of expertise and training can also help determine who may be a good fit.

Types of therapy

There are many different types of psychotherapy available, so reading about the types of therapies out there can help:

Which mental health professional can help?

There are several different types of mental health professionals who can provide psychotherapy:

Tips for finding a counselor or therapist

Useful websites to use during your search

Sometimes it can take up to a few sessions to know if it will be a good fit with your therapist. You want to feel comfortable speaking freely about your concerns, be able to trust your therapist and feel that they’re working with you in a collaborative way.

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