Boston Counseling Therapy Terms Defined

Searching for Therapy in Boston or Cambridge, MA?
But not sure what exactly it is you are looking for. Perhaps you have heard the terms: Therapy, Counseling, Psychology, and Life Coaching?
The purpose of this post is to help you recognize and identify the similarities and differences between these services.
(Boston Counseling is available today -- 617-395-5806)

Therapy Related Terms and Definitions:
Therapy is a broad term, and can be used to describe a wide variety of “therapeutic” services.
Therapy services include anything from Physical Therapy, to Wardrobe Therapy (apparently this is the process of improving one’s fashion), to the Professional Counseling Therapy Services provided at Thrive Boston Counseling.
Psychotherapy is the process of using psychological and mental health techniques in a one-on-one, or a group setting. With psychotherapy, a therapist and client will often discuss personal aspects of a client’s life as part of an approach to help the client overcome life problems, and increase life satisfaction.
Counseling Therapy / Talk Therapy:
Counseling, alone, is almost as board of a term as therapy and can include Debt Counseling, Financial Counseling, or any interaction where one person is consulting, or “counseling” another person on a specific topic.
Counseling Therapy, also known as Talk Therapy, is synonymous with psychotherapy, which is describes above. Historical Note: The process of talk therapy, in days of antiquary, was originally referred to as “The Talking Cure”
Mental Health Counseling:
Mental health counseling is synonymous with psychotherapy, talk therapy, and counseling therapy. However, mental health counseling is a restricted term in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Hence, in order for someone to state they provide Mental Health Counseling, one must be a licensed mental health provider, often an LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselors).
Note: Thrive Boston Counseling Therapy services are provided by professional and licensed Mental Health Providers.
Psychology is the study of the mind. A psychologist, which is someone with a doctoral-level degree in psychology, can be trained to perform a number of tasks including research, psychological testing, and psychotherapy.
Life Coaching:
Life coaching is a process where a person who is not suffering from any clinically significant mental disorders (i.e., depression, addiction, etc.) seeks professional assistance in life improvement. Life coaching often involves mapping out and developing life goals, and strategically setting out to accomplish those goals. Life coaching is a unregulated field, meaning that anyone can say they are a life coach regardless of education or training.
Note: At Thrive, we offer a variety of Counseling Therapy and Life Coaching services. However, regardless of service, the members of our therapy staff hold masters and doctoral degrees in mental health, as well as professional licenses.
Lay Counseling / Lay Therapy:
Lay counseling, or lay therapy, is when someone with limited training in counseling therapy helps another person by providing support, basic guidance, and a listening ear. Lay therapy is not a replacement for professional care, but is often a useful adjunct to professional services. Lay therapy is traditionally a free service, and is often offered in venues such as churches, crisis centers, or crisis pregnancy centers.

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