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Are you looking for a Gold Coast counsellor or psychologist? Perhaps you’re wondering about the difference between counsellors and psychologists, to help you better decide on the right type of therapist for you? In this article, we take a look at the differences between the two, to help you to decide on whether you should see a counsellor or psychologist on the Gold Coast.

What’s the difference between a counsellor and a psychologist?

On the Gold Coast, you have many different options for therapy, and there are both numerous counsellors and psychologists available. However, there are a few key differences between the two, and you might feel that one is more suitable for you than the other.

For starters, psychologists in Australia must undergo at least 6 years of training, including at least one year of supervised practice or a Master’s degree. After registering as a psychologist, practitioners must undertake continual annual professional training and development, and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

A counsellor, on the other hand, does not need to be formally qualified in Australia. In fact, just about anyone can call themselves a counsellor. There are many qualified and experienced counsellors on the Gold Coast, but navigating the minefield of qualified versus unqualified therapists can be tricky.

For more information on the differences between counsellors and psychologists in Australia, see our previous article, which goes into greater detail about the qualifications and professional differences between these two types of therapists.

Which type of therapist is for me?

Ultimately, the type of therapist that’s right for you is a very personal decision. But there are a few key factors you should take into consideration before selecting your counsellor or psychologist.

First of all, psychologists in Australia undergo years of training to become specialists in the human mind, and in the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of human behaviour. Unlike counsellors – which we’ll cover below – psychologists not only counsel people but are able to administer psychological or diagnostic tests and offer long-term treatment. While psychologists do not administer medication to clients (only psychiatrists, who are trained medical professionals, can do this), they do offer non-drug therapies such as CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy), client-centered therapy, and a range of other highly effective therapeutic techniques that may only be effectively administered by a trained professional. Psychological therapy is most appropriate when treating serious and chronic mental health concerns, including but not limited to the following:

  • Clinical depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorders

Counsellors in Australia, on the other hand, mainly assist clients through what we call ‘talk therapy’. This involves helping a person through their personal problems, by discussing problems and offering guidance to help resolve these problems. Counselling is an incredibly important and often effective type of therapy, and although counsellors are not required to complete the same level of training as psychologists, should not be discounted as a potential option depending upon what you are going through. Counselling is an excellent option if you’re suffering from these types of concerns:

  • Stress
  • Feeling ‘not yourself’
  • Low self-confidence
  • Lack of direction or motivation

It is important to note that psychological and counselling services overlap in many ways, and in the treatment of many concerns you might be facing. The choice between a counsellor or psychologist for you should come down to the types of issues you are dealing with, and whether or not you may require long-term therapy, or would benefit from access to a range of highly specialised treatments, such as CBT, and other therapies. Before choosing a therapist, you can discuss your concerns with them, to help them to determine whether their qualifications, experience, and specialisations will meet your needs.

The best of both worlds

Whether you’re going through a traumatic experience, battling ongoing depression or anxiety, or simply not feeling yourself and in need of someone to talk to – therapy is a powerful tool in discovering what lies beneath your concerns, in developing strategies to overcome these concerns, and ultimately in recovering and feeling your truest, happiest, and healthiest self again. Whether you should see a counsellor or psychologist, as we’ve mentioned, comes down to what you need from your therapy. But what if you didn’t need to choose? What if your therapist could offer the best of both worlds and design a truly unique, tailored approach to your therapy, drawing on a range of therapeutic techniques and treating you as the individual that you are?

At Integrated Health Specialists, we offer both counselling and psychology services, as well as a variety of other highly specialised and advanced therapeutic techniques, including:

Our years of expertise in psychology, counselling, and other advanced therapies such as those listed above makes us uniquely qualified to offer both cutting-edge psychological diagnoses and treatments, as well as person-centered counselling services. So, no matter what you’re struggling with, or even if you’re unsure about the mental health concerns you’re facing, we are able to assist you with the therapy type that’s most appropriate for you.

Whether you just need someone to talk to, or you’re seeking treatment for an ongoing and potentially debilitating mental health concern, we can help. At Integrated Health Specialists, you don’t need to choose between a counsellor or psychologist. Our holistic approach to therapy means putting you at the center of our therapeutic plan, and developing a strategy that is wholly tailored to treat you, to improve your quality of life, and help you to feel your empowered, healthy, happy self again. Get in touch with us today, and let’s get started!

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen