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  • Writer's pictureHeather Steele

Mental Health Counseling vs Therapy

Mental health counseling and therapy are both types of treatment for mental health conditions, but they have some key differences.

Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counseling typically focuses on addressing specific issues or concerns, such as stress, anxiety, relationship problems, or job-related difficulties. Counseling sessions are usually shorter in duration and less frequent than therapy sessions. During counseling, a licensed counselor works with the individual to develop coping strategies and tools to manage their symptoms and improve overall functioning.


Therapy, on the other hand, is a more in-depth treatment that often addresses underlying issues that may be contributing to mental health conditions. Therapy sessions are typically longer and more frequent than counseling sessions. A therapist, who may be a licensed counselor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist, will work with the individual to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to gain insight into the root causes of their symptoms. The therapist will then help the individual to develop strategies to change negative patterns and improve their overall mental well-being.

Common types of therapy

One of the most popular types of therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps individuals identify and change negative patterns of thought and behavior that may be contributing to their mental health condition. Other types of therapy include psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on exploring the unconscious mind and past experiences, and interpersonal therapy, which focuses on improving communication and relationships with others.

It is also important to note that some mental health conditions may require medication in addition to counseling or therapy. A psychiatrist, a medical doctor who specializes in mental health, can prescribe medication and work with a therapist or counselor to provide the best treatment plan.

Deciding what is best for you

Overall, the choice between counseling and therapy depends on the individual's needs and preferences, as well as the severity of their mental health condition. Counseling may be more appropriate for someone who is dealing with a specific concern or problem, whereas therapy may be more appropriate for someone who has a diagnosed mental health condition and wants to work on underlying issues. In some cases, an individual may benefit from a combination of counseling and therapy.

It is important to seek professional help when experiencing mental health concerns, your primary care physician or a mental health professional can help you determine the best course of treatment. Talking with a therapist or counselor can be a valuable step in improving mental health and overall well-being. With the right treatment, people with mental health conditions can lead fulfilling and productive lives.

Our team at Morrisville Counseling has a wide variety of training and specialties. To provide care for people across a broad spectrum of needs. Contact our team here to schedule a free minute consultation to get matched with the perfect counselor or therapist for you.

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