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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Clancy

The Differences Between Therapies; Play? Art? Psychotherapy? Counselling?

I am qualified to work as a Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Play and Arts Therapist and can talk with you about the differences if that’s helpful, however, as a summary

when looking for support for your child it may feel confusing to differentiate between the different options, for example, psychotherapy, counselling, play and art therapies.

Counselling tends to be focused on specific issues such as a problem at school. Counselling techniques may involve Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which seeks to help the person in therapy find alternative ways to think, feel and then behave. It usually takes at least two-three years to train as a Counsellor.

Psychotherapy seeks to help the person in therapy work through deeper issues, such as a specific trauma or relationship difficulties by safely enabling them to find the root of where the problems are manifesting. This way, change can occur at a fundamental level which leads to positive changes in how we view the world and ourselves in it. The Psychotherapy training I undertook was at Masters's Degree level, taking three years full-time, including experience in a psychiatric setting.

Play, art, drama and creative therapies are techniques and methods which help the person in therapy express themselves. This form of therapy can also resolve difficulties through creativity alongside support from the therapist. The act of creativity is also healing and has been shown to bring many benefits, including reducing anxiety. It is amazing how much we process visually and creatively and sometimes we find more words for how things are through images and art than we do in simply words alone. The training to become a play and art therapist varies, but some training take less than a year.

The way that I practice any form of therapy is to focus on the therapeutic relationship. Trust and safety is paramount for any form of therapy to be effective and this forms the foundation of healing.

As an integrative therapist trained in psychotherapy, counselling, art and play therapy, I incorporate a wide range of theories and techniques into my clinical practice, all depending on the individual needs and presenting difficulties.

If you would like to find out more or have any questions at all, please do call or email me.

I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.

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