Modern-day life can be very complex, fast-paced and difficult to understand. Little wonder that people often struggle to cope and find it difficult to understand what is happening to them in the larger context. While most people, in truth, need to face issues and often need to make difficult decisions, for some the process can become overwhelming or even unbearable. In this case, they may want to reach out for support but may not know whether to turn to a counsellor or therapist. Are they one and the same, or is there a significant difference?
Working Out the Difference
In this case, the choice is between booking an introductory session with a counsellor or psychotherapist, and while both are engaged in helping the individual deal with issues, one (a psychotherapist) will tend to work on a deeper level over a longer period of time. Certainly, both experts work in fields that are closely related to each other, but psychotherapy involves a more intricate process of analysis with a more in-depth approach.
Much will depend on the scale of the challenge which you are (or feel that you are) facing. Many people find it difficult to cope with everyday events or a string of events that seem to have compounded into a period of sadness or anxiety. Generally speaking, they feel that they can cope but wish that they didn't have to and would benefit from having somebody to talk with, to get it "out there." If you are in this situation, then you would definitely benefit from talking with a counsellor, and you should consider booking an initial appointment as soon as possible.
Others may feel that their situation is more significant, that they may have recurring and very negative thought patterns, or may be questioning their relationships and may feel completely lost. In this case, they may well benefit from talking to a psychotherapist.
If you're not sure, you should certainly start with a visit to a counselling service and explain the extent of the problem to the counselor. They will listen sympathetically and help you decide what to do next.
In any case, it is very important to take some action and to find help from a professional to make it easier to cope with your everyday existence and restore some of the joy of life. After all, you're not going to benefit by keeping it all to yourself.