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In order to understand treatment options, it is important to clarify at the start a few basic concepts about the different professions that are available within our mental health service and what to expect regarding treatment options when you engage with someone from a specific profession. In this section we will also clarify the different modality of treatment being individual, couples, relationships, family and groups and the context for treatment being face-to-face, internet based, and telephone.

Regardless of the treatment you choose there is no ‘quick fix’ for psychological difficulties, emotional distress and mental health disorders. Medication can help to alleviate symptoms, allowing you to cope better with daily life and provide emotional stability to engage with self-help or other professional treatment to address underlying issues. Similarly, psychological therapy, counselling and psychotherapy take time and commitment before you notice a sustained improvement. Sometimes treatment requires you to face difficult thoughts, feelings and problems you have previously avoided, but the approach taken always aims to do this only if necessary for recovery, in a safe manner and at a pace that is manageable for you.

‘At SHC we aim to help you access the appropriate treatment for you as an individual by find the best professional team who can help you navigate the bumps and challenges along the road of recovery.’

What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

Before going into detail about individual professions we will outline some basic differences. A psychiatrist is a medically trained doctor who chooses to specialise in mental health. The focus of this profession is mental health assessment and diagnosis, prescribing medication and medication management. In the UK a Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Counsellor cannot prescribe medication. Psychotropic medication can only be prescribed and managed by a psychiatrist or sometimes by your GP.

Psychologists focus extensively on psychological assessment, formulation (identify psychological factors contributing to problem) and treatments which is mainly applying a range of psychotherapeutic approaches to treat emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties and distress. Using their extensive scientific training Psychologists integrate psychological theory and research with therapeutic practice with the aim to treat mental health problems, reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological well-being.

What is the difference between a Psychotherapist and a Counsellor

Counselling is a straightforward form of talking therapy that can sometimes feel like an everyday conversation. However the conversation is different as it involves a trained counsellor actively listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. The term ‘counselling’ can sometimes be used to refer to talking therapies in general, but counselling is also a type of therapy, typically taking a non-structured, non-directive, person-centred and empathic approach. The counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes with the purpose to find your own solutions to problems.

Psychotherapy is also a type of therapy used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions. It involves talking to a trained therapist who can help you to look deeper into your problems and worries, and deal with troublesome patterns. Psychotherapy usually involves talking, but sometimes other methods may be used including art, music, drama and movement. Psychotherapy can help you discuss feelings you have about yourself and other people, particularly family and those close to you.

Due to the broad use of these latter two terms, the titles psychotherapist and counsellor are often used interchangeably. Psychotherapy and Counselling are also terms that are used to refer to talking therapies in general and the many different psychotherapeutic approaches for example Humanistic, Existential, Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) etc

A psychologist, counsellor or psychotherapist doesn’t typically give you advice or tell you what to do, but will guide you towards better approaches to lifestyle, health, emotional wellbeing, relationships and dealing with problems.

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Where We Are

All our consultation sessions are conducted at Brighter Spaces in Guildford: Please get in touch with clinician directly to book your appointment.


54 Quarry Street


For enquiries, bookings and cancellations, please contact clinician directly.


Castle Car Park/Tunsgate
Sydenham Road,

Millbrook Car Park, A281, GU1 3UF

Images Courtesy of Brighter Spaces