Counselling, Psychotherapy and Mind Training
Counselling and psychotherapy describe similar ways in which people can be helped through talking and relating to a therapist. In both, the relationship between therapist and client is used to facilitate healing and promote change.
Many people argue that there is little difference between counselling and psychotherapy. However, most agree that counselling deals with more immediate problems for a shorter time, while psychotherapy goes more deeply and may take longer. Counselling and psychotherapy can be defined and distinguished as follows.
Counselling is an effective therapy for many emotional and psychological problems as well as a useful resource for people undergoing a life crisis or significant change. Counselling involves a therapist and client regularly meeting and talking. In counselling, a trained professional will explore your issues with you, help you re-/discover your strengths and resources and find a way forward.
Many people find the opportunity to talk someone to other than a partner, relative or friend helpful. Counselling tends to be a short-term intervention (6-18 sessions), focusing on one or two specific problems and taking steps to address or solve them. Some people find that through the process of counselling they uncover deeper issues that they want to work on. This leads them into psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy In psychotherapy issues are addressed at a deeper level and the process is often longer. Psychotherapy is an effective intervention for unhelpful, repeating patterns as well as emotional issues which have gone on for a long time. These may include chronic depression, anxiety, panic or obsessive-compulsive disorder, intense self-criticism and low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, self-identity problems, emotional over-eating or starvation, fluctuating mood episodes and symptoms associated with past abuse or other trauma. Psychotherapy can also be of benefit to anybody wishing to improve self-understanding, gain more self-confidence, unlock one’s full potential and improve interpersonal relationships.
Mind Training involves the practice of various Buddhist practices which are secular in nature such as mindfulness meditation and the cultivation of loving kindness, compassion and equanimity. At Mindtalk, mind training is offered as part of general counselling and psychotherapy. It may include a variety of meditative practices as well as techniques from compassion-focused therapy developed by Prof. Paul Gilbert.
The aim of mind training is to open our hearts, expand our awareness, experience emotions fully and engage with difficult emotions using compassion. Evidence is growing which demonstrates the benefits of mind training on health, relationships, achievement and enjoyment of life.