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FAQs on Counseling and Therapy

What is Counseling?

Counseling is a collaboration between a trained counselor and client to promote mental well-being, enhance self-awareness and resolve the identified concerns. This collaborative relationship is therapeutic in nature.

What happens in a Counseling session?

The counselor provides a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore your issues. You will be an active participant in the counseling process at every stage.

Who can come for Counseling?

Literally anyone. It’s a myth that counseling is only for people who are very disturbed. But in fact, counseling can be helpful for any person seeking growth.

What is the difference between Counseling and Therapy?

The words 'counseling' and 'therapy' are used interchangeably although they have some similarities. It is different in that counseling is short term and focuses on current concerns of a client while therapy also known as 'psychotherapy' deals with deeper issues by drawing insights from past experiences, personality, family dynamics etc.

How do I know I need Counseling or Therapy?

This is a common question running through the minds of general public, even the ones who are contemplating to opt for counseling and therapy.

Yet the answer is quite simple. Let's debunk it for you...

  • If you are experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or any other emotional distress and these feelings are interfering with your daily functioning, relationships, work etc.

  • If you are facing major life changes such as relocation, job loss, new additions to the family, disagreements in relationships, death of a loved one, health issues etc which overwhelms you

  • If you're using substances (like alcohol or drugs) to cope with stress or emotions

  • If you're experiencing significant changes in your appetite, sleep patterns, or energy levels and cannot find a physical cause to it.

  • If you find it challenging to manage your emotions, leading to frequent outbursts or emotional numbness.

  • If you're constantly worrying, feeling on edge, or experiencing panic attacks.

  • If you're struggling with your identity, sexuality, or cultural issues.

  • If you're having difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things.

  • If you're engaging in self-harm or having thoughts of suicide.

What does Counseling or Therapy help with?

  • Expressing difficult feelings

  • Processing trauma

  • Setting realistic goals

  • Coming to terms with past experiences

  • Effective communication

  • Building confidence and self-esteem

  • Strengthening relationships

  • Developing healthier coping mechanisms

  • Building resilience and overall well-being

and many more...

How do I know whom to consult? A Counselor, Psychotherapist, Psychologist or a Psychiatrist, how are they different?

Deciding whether to seek help from a counselor, psychotherapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist depends on your specific needs and the nature of the issues you're facing. Here's a general guide to help you determine which type of professional might be most appropriate:


  • Focus: Usually deals with specific issues or short-term problems, such as relationship issues, stress management, or grief.

  • Qualifications: Typically has a bachelor's, master's degree or certifications in counseling or a related field.

  • Approach: Often provides guidance, support, and strategies for coping with immediate challenges. Psychotherapist:

  • Focus: Works with individuals, couples, or groups to address emotional, mental, or behavioral issues.

  • Qualifications: Has a master's or doctoral degree and certifications in psychology, counseling, or a related field.

  • Approach: Uses various therapeutic techniques to explore and address underlying issues, often over a longer period than counseling. Psychologist (Counseling or Clinical):

  • Focus: Studies human behavior and mental processes, and provides therapy or counseling services.

  • Qualifications: Has a master’s or doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology and may specialize in various areas, such as counseling or clinical psychology and may have certifications in specialized areas.

  • Approach: Provides therapy, conducts psychological assessments and testings, and may specialize in specific types of therapy or populations. Psychiatrist:

  • Focus: Specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders.

  • Qualifications: Is a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.) with specialized training in psychiatry. May have certifications.

  • Approach: Can prescribe medication and often works in conjunction with psychotherapists, counselors or psychologists for comprehensive treatment.

When deciding which professional to see, consider the nature and severity of your concerns, as well as your preferences for treatment approaches. It's often beneficial to start with a counselor or psychotherapist for talk therapy and then consider a psychiatrist or psychologist if medication or specialized therapy is needed. Consulting with a mental health professional can help you determine the best course of action based on your individual needs.

How long can I expect the counseling or therapy sessions to be?

Each session would ideally last for 50-60 mins. And the number of sessions would vary case to case, an average of 6-8 sessions could be expected, this number could still vary depending on the needs of the individual.

At Ashok One, our Support Team does free evaluation and screenings and will appropriately refer you to these mental health professionals. We have counselors, psychotherapists, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in our Mental Health Team. For Appointments, call 02249397070

Compiled by Sharon Prasad, Counselor and Psychotherapist at Ashok and Ashok One Hospitals.


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