Psychotherapy, Counseling and Personal Consulting: Which One Is Best for You
Do you need help with life? Are you feeling defeated, sad, and hopeless? Are you experiencing problems too personal to discuss with family or friends, but do not warrant the services of a psychotherapist or psychologist? If so, you probably need the help of a professional -- someone who can help you make sense of it all. Someone who understands what it’s like to be in your position. Someone to help you get through it quickly with a minimum distress.
The professional we are speaking of is someone who can help you simply by speaking with you. This form of help doesn’t include psychotherapy, medications or travel – all it involves is talking it through, getting objective feedback, and developing a game plan to get you through this difficult period. The professional and you talk with one another via telephone to come to conclusions about your situation, so you can then take action on it to improve your life.
There are three types of professional help for dealing with the challenges of life:
- Personal Consulting
Understanding the difference between these three forms of help will assist you in making a decision on which one is best for you.
Psychotherapy is for individuals who are seeking in-depth mental and emotional help. Many people have a mental illness, but you do not need to be diagnosed with one to seek psychotherapy. Usually, being emotionally disturbed is enough to want or need psychotherapy.
Who Performs Psychotherapy?
A psychotherapist is a person who performs psychotherapy. This person may or may not have a doctorate, but is required to have a license in the state he/she is practicing. This professional receives a license only after receiving additional education and training in the industry.
Psychotherapists use many different techniques and strategies.
This involves learning about the mental illness, so the therapist will cover the causes, symptoms, and treatment. This can help many people come to terms with what they are dealing with, so they can start to take action.
- Behavior therapy
Behavior therapy includes classical conditioning, desensitizing, and operant conditioning. All of these help people change their behaviors by acknowledging the consequences and rewards associated with them.
- Cognitive therapy
Cognitive therapy helps people change the way they think, so they can change what they do. When people have a different perception of something, they often feel differently about it, and that ends up altering their actions.
- Humanistic therapy
This type of therapy uses techniques such as client-centered, gestalt, and existential. All of these look at the person as primarily good with amazing potential. To reach that potential, therapy is used to help clients make rational choices. This works well with people suffering from severe depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder because they can sometimes feel as though they are not worthy of making good decisions or achieving their life goals.
The Length of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy can last several months to several years. It’s a long term commitment. Many people will go through many changes during those years. They also have a difficult time separating themselves from the psychotherapist afterwards. Oftentimes, it can take weeks before a client feels confident enough to handle the world on his/her own.
As you can see, psychotherapy helps people who are having mental issues that make it difficult to get through each day. They have a hard time getting out of bed, doing what they need to do to care for themselves, make it to work, or even socialize with others. This form of therapy helps people get in touch with their mental illness, so they can work with it instead of against it.
Mental Health Counseling
A mental health counselor is a person who is licensed by the state in which he/she practices and may use psychotherapeutic methods to help others.
Counselors will have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a counseling-related industry such as psychology, sociology, human services, etc. They may meet with clients multiple times a week to help meet certain goals.
The bulk of the work counselors do is through talking with clients. However, there are some counselors who will go with clients to their home or community to work on some of the exercises they are working on at that time. For instance, if the goal is to become more social. The counselor may accompany clients to a senior center to help them mingle with others.
Counselors can work with people who have severe mental illness as long as they are being helped by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist as well, but they often work with people who have other life problems such as divorce, miscarriages, death in the family, etc. They help people process what has happened in their life, come to terms with it, and then take steps to move on from it healthfully and successfully, so it doesn’t become a problem later on.
Most counselors prefer to meet with clients face-to-face because they use nonverbal body language to help them understand the emotions they are dealing with at the time. They don’t usually conduct sessions over the phone, but they will in rare occasions or during crises.
The Length of Counseling
Counseling is much shorter than psychotherapy. Usually, people will work with a counselor for months before deciding they do not need the help any longer. It can be easier for a client to leave a counseling relationship when compared to those in psychotherapy, but for some people, it is hard.
Counselors form bonds with their clients that can’t be replaced easily, if at all. They become a crutch to some clients, and that can sometimes inhibit them as they move on with life without the counselor.
The good news is that through the counseling, most people end up working on personal development, which increases their confidence. This can make it much easier for them to take what they’ve learned in counseling and apply it to life for many years into the future.
Counseling is for those who need to sit down with someone to go over serious life problems. These people often need someone to teach them different ways to handle situations (coping strategies). They can also go with people into the community to help them use some of the skills they have learned.
You now have learned about psychotherapy and counseling. The third type of help that many people are not aware of is personal consulting.
What It Is
Personal consulting helps people who are going through life hardships or transitions. It’s for people who need someone to speak to during stressful times to feel as though they are being heard and understood.
Who Performs Personal Consulting
Personal consultants may be a licensed therapist and had worked as a psychotherapist or counselor. This person understands some people do not need the intensity or length of psychotherapy, or the hands on work a counselor offers. They may just need someone they feel close to, so they can speak to them during an acute crisis to come up with a solid plan for dealing with it.
Personal consulting responds to individuals with clear, objective feedback based on the clients’ expressed concerns. The consultant and client are able to enter into a private and personal exchange that generally leads to a clearer understanding of the problem and a realistic plan for the resolution of the issue. Armed with a sense of finally being heard, knowing that now there is a plan for resolving issues and the realization that personal support is just a phone call away, clients are left with a more positive sense of well-being and self-determination.
Help Is Just a Call Away
One of the top reasons people choose personal consulting over psychotherapy and counseling is the accessibility of the consultant. Clients do not meet with the consultant face-to-face. Sessions are performed by phone. Clients simply pick up the phone to schedule a session. Sometimes, personal consultants will take a client as soon as he/she calls, while others will need to schedule time. It can also just depend on the day for the consultant.
Many people prefer personal consulting because:
- They do not have to drive anywhere for it.
- They do not have to worry about anyone seeing their car in the psychotherapist’s or counselor’s parking lot.
- They don’t have to be concerned someone they know will see them in the waiting room.
- They don’t have to get ready to head out the door to make the appointment.
- It’s less expensive because they don’t have to pay for gas or parking fees.
- They end up forming a tight bond with the personal consultant. The consultant becomes a type of confidant to the person. Venting to someone you trust can feel so good inside and then when you walk away with good insight, that can be so much better.
Personal consultants are professionals that help you improve your life. Everyone has something about their life they are unhappy with, and a personal consultant can help bring it out and turn it around. A personal consultant can take the time no one else will give you, so you can figure things out.
What People Get Out of It
Most of the clients in personal consulting seek to solve problems or improve their life in some way. Some will enter into it having a specific situation they need to figure out, while others won’t know what they need to do, but they know they need to do something.
Problem Solving Help
A personal consultant knows the right questions to ask to get behind the problem(s) you are having. This helps you get a better view of what you’re dealing with, so you’re able to come up with possibilities on how you’re going to deal with it. The personal consultant will never tell you that you should do this or you should do that. A personal consultant guides you to come up with your own solutions. He or she may provide suggestions, but you are the one who will ultimately make the decision on what you want to do.
Continued Support During Transitions
Some people will find out how to improve their life and be able to take that and change their life. Others need more help along the way – personal consulting continues to provide the support. Those who need it will receive assistance with knowing which steps to take to get to the goals they have come up with during previous personal consulting sessions. This way each time a personal consultant meets with a client, he or she will review what has been done since the last session, the challenges that were discovered, and then what will be done in the next several days until the next session. There is never any criticism for not following through – there is never any judgement. A personal consultant is simply by your side to help you do whatever it is you want to do – he/she is just there to help you.
The Length of Personal Consulting
Personal consulting has no time parameters. You do not have to be in personal consulting for weeks, months or years. You have sessions when you want to have them – when you need them. If you only need a session once a week, that will be fine. You will be helped. If you only need it once a month, that’s okay too. It’s whatever you think is best for you.
Many people enjoy being able to dictate when they will have a session. They also like how they can stop and start at any time. This level of autonomy gives them a sense of being powerful in controlling their life.
Deciding on the Best Route to Take
You’re here because something in your life troubles you. Don’t continue to live like this because it is not fair to you or the people around you. It’s time to care for yourself.
You can do this with psychotherapy, counseling, or personal consulting. Now that you know the differences between each one, you can probably easily figure out which one is best for you and your situation.
Scheduling a Personal Consulting Session
If personal consulting seems to be the best choice, please click here to learn more about personal consultant Kendall Van Blarcom. He has many decades of experience as a licensed marriage and family counselor in California. He specializes in older adults and their caregivers, and is known for being “a senior helping seniors.”
First time clients receive a limited time special introductory price: $49 for a half hour.
Get the help you need today with a personal consultant who can help you improve your life no matter the stage you’re in right now.