Frequently Asking Questions

What is Counselling/Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a treatment that includes talking therapies such as counselling to treat patient’s mental health & emotional issues. During this treatment patients learn about their feelings, moods, thoughts and behaviour. Both psychotherapists and counsellors, provide patients support and treatment that help them respond to life challenges in the best possible ways.

The difference between the two is debatable. Some consider counselling to offer short-term solutions whereas psychotherapy provides treatment for long-term psychological issues. However, there are many who disagree. Therefore you are advised to get in touch with professionals personally to learn how they can help you or your loved ones.

Whether you select a psychotherapist or a counsellor, it is important that you choose the best mental health service provider. Explore your choices and therapies offered before you make your choice.


What is the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor and psychotherapist?

All these professionals work in the mental health service industry. However, each professional helps in a different way. Let’s take a look at the difference between these mental health professionals and how they offer support to patients:


Psychology is the field that focuses on the study of the mind, human behaviour and how the mind responds to day to day situations. An individual who specialises in psychology is known as a psychologist. A psychologist provides mental health care to patients who work with their patients in therapeutic contexts.


Psychiatry is the field that focuses on the study of psychological disorders, diagnosis, management and its prevention. A psychiatrist is a medical physician who specialises in this field. To pursue psychiatry professionally, a psychiatrist must first acquire proper medical training just like any doctor. After that, a psychiatrist can specialise in any area of psychiatry including forensic psychiatry, psychiatry of learning disabilities, old-age psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry.

A psychiatrist evaluates patients to determine to see whether their symptoms are strictly psychiatric or a combination of both psychical and mental stress. In contrast with psychologists, a psychiatrist is a physician specialist. In other words, a psychiatrist is professionally trained to use different psychotherapies and prescribe medicine to the patient.


A counsellor is a professional that uses psychotherapy to help patients develop a good understanding of their behaviour and feelings. In addition to this a counsellor also helps in providing patients solutions to overcome these life challenges that trigger disturbing behaviour. The treatment approach is determined by the counsellor according to condition of each patient, separately.


Psychotherapy and counselling are both umbrella terms that include a wide variety of talking therapies. A psychotherapist works with patients to help them address and overcome a broad range of problems such as emotional, mental health and social problems by using a range of talking therapies.

Both psychotherapist and counsellors are not regulated by law at present.


What are the different therapies used?

Psychological therapies can be divided into three broad categories, behavioural therapy, psychoanalytical & psychodynamic therapy and humanistic therapy.

Behavioural Therapy

Behavioural therapy largely focuses on behaviour and cognition. This therapy aims to tackle and overcome behavioural problems like addiction, phobia, anxiety and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and promote positive behavioural change.

Psychoanalytical and Psychodynamic Therapy

This therapy aims to explore unconscious relationship patterns. It focuses on childhood experiences and analyses how these experiences have affected the patient’s life.

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy aims to help individuals understand and realize their strengths fostering self-development and growth. It focuses on the here and now instead of past experiences.


How do I know if I need counselling/psychotherapy?

If you are suffering from mental distress and don’t wish to discuss your problems openly, then you should consider counselling/psychotherapy. With a counsellor/psychotherapist you can discuss your problems confidentially and discover new ways to overcome life challenges and live a life that you deserve.


How do I know which counsellor or psychotherapist to choose?

Browse and search your options through our True Counsellors Counselling Directory. Our directory lists hundreds of psychotherapists and counsellors all over Australia. So whether you're looking for a psychologist in Melbourne or a psychologist in Brisbane. We've got you covered. 


Can I have counselling online or by telephone?

Yes. There are several psychotherapists and counsellors listed in our directory that offer both quality counselling over the phone and online.


Do counsellors offer any seminars, workshops or events?

Yes. Many psychotherapists and counsellors offer workshops, seminars and organize events.


I'm worried about someone else - how do I talk about mental health?

If you are worried about someone else like your loved one, then what might be bothering you is how and what you can do to help. Should you get involved or consult a counsellor/psychotherapist? Well, to begin with, you don’t have to worry or panic. The best way to get started is to talk to your loved one about it. However, discussing mental health problems is not easy as the patient can snap and get offended. Therefore try to deal with the situation smartly by gaining the confidence of the patient and showing maximum support.

Mental health problems can result due to various reasons like divorce, phobias, death of a close one, work pressure or certain events happen when least expected. There are certain signs that can indicate that your loved one is experiencing mental health problems. These include excessive crying, refusing social contact, poor performance at work or in school and significant changes in eating habits. If you spot these signs, try to talk to it out with your loved one. Pick a moment to talk about this situation carefully. Lend an ear, by listening to his/her problem, show your support instead of screaming and shouting. Ask your loved one if he/she would like to discuss his/her issue with a professional. If yes, then schedule an appointment with a counsellor or a psychotherapist!

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