According to the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), they say:
“Psychotherapy and Counselling are professional activities that utilise an interpersonal relationship, to enable people to develop self understanding and to make changes in their lives.”
They are based on an interpersonal relationship between the client and the Counsellor, which helps them develop a better understanding about themselves, and then solve their problems.
A Counsellor is a trained professional that can help solve your personal problems.
Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists help individuals explore and resolve issues that are interpersonal, intrapsychic, or personal in nature. They do so within the boundaries of a clearly drafted and principled relationship.
Professionals in the field are explicitly contracted and offered in-depth training to use various techniques and therapeutic interventions.
While the role of Counselling and psychotherapy may appear intertwined, they differ on various levels. The role of a Counsellor is to focus on specific problems, helping you make changes in your life and fostering your well being.
Counsellors specialise in certain areas where their knowledge and methods are required. For example, grief and bereavement Counselling, marital Counselling or addiction Counselling.
Psychotherapy is more concerned with restructuring the personality, and helping develop deep insight to bring about more profound change.
Although both psychotherapists and Counsellors work with a variety of clients, psychotherapists can work with more serious mental health issues, and work with individuals who are seen over a longer period of time.