A Clear Delineation
One of the most common questions that I get asked is “what is the difference between psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy and coaching?” It is a logical question to ask, as I am qualified in all four things and utilise them all within my therapeutic protocol. I am pleased to say that this delineation has now been made and can be found on the front page of my website.
The breakdown of the differences are as follows:
Psychotherapy: the resolution of distress through relief of suffering and the correction of maladaptive habits, conflicts and attitudes from painful and symptomatic (“abnormal”) dysfunction to asymptomatic or (“adequate”) functionality.
Counselling: the exploration of life choices and/or dealing with current situations through resolution of dilemmas and improvement of strategic coping from frustrating, impaired (‘inadequate’) adaptation to competent or (‘normal’) adaptation.
Hypnotherapy: the resolution of problematic behaviour, thoughts and/or emotions through access to unconscious resources from un-resourced (‘maladaptive’) living to effective (‘normal’) living.
Coaching: the optimization of unrealized potential through development of talent and refinement of effective skills from unsatisfying, limited (‘average’) performance to enhanced or (‘outstanding’) effectiveness
These descriptors were adapted by me and my friend and colleague Fiona Biddle from Orlinsky, D. Collaborative Research: How Different Are Coaches and Therapists? Presented at the International Coaching Federation Conference, Long Beach CA, Nov. 2007. This information can be reproduced in whole or in part with all parties duly cited. I believe this to be a very good working position as to the differences between psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy and coaching.