What is the difference between counselling, psychotherapy and coaching?

Counselling is mainly directed at working on specific problems.

Psychotherapy is mainly about longer-term work on one’s way of thinking about self and how to live in the world, through reflection and insights from the past, present and future.

In sexuality and relationships, sometimes one or the other is more appropriate.

For the difference between counselling and coaching, listen to Susie Tuckwell and Angela Pollicino as they talk in depth.

Interview by Angela Pollicino of Leading Life with Susie Tuckwell

“What is the difference between coaching and counselling”

Recorded 2009    Running time approx 49mins

URL: http://leadinglife.byoaudio.com/files/media/7aae1539-d744-22dd-bf78-b49c8a7b9ab8.mp3

You can also download the MP3 from here.


Why come to a counsellor or psychotherapist?

Think of your counsellor as the companion on your journey of self-discovery.

My job is to support you with what we call in the therapy world  “unconditional positive regard”, while maintaining a fresh perspective that opens the door to your positive new phase. I would describe it always being on your side, but never joining the team!


What  approaches does Susie use?

There are different fields and styles of counselling and psychotherapy. I employ the powerful combination of a genuine interpersonal relationship with research-based professional techniques. As we work through past and present events and emotions, you can expect to feel a burden is being lifted as you become psychologically freer. Energy can now be put in to making your life better.

Our sessions are tailored for you as a unique individual with unique issues. At times, we might work more in the past or more in the present. In a modern holistic way, we may have some straight-forward information-giving, or introduce tools such as stress management, hypnotherapy, bibliotherapy (a fancy name for recommended reading), exercises, sleep management, and many others as appropriate. With your agreement, other professionals such as medical and nutritional personnel can be included if needed.


Does counselling or psychotherapy really work?

You may feel embarrassed to come for counselling, psychotherapy or coaching, especially in sexual or intimate relationship matters. Perhaps it even seems a sign of weakness or you believe you should be able to handle every problem alone.

Though understandable and even admirable in some ways, those old attitudes are out-of-date. We now know that being able to reach out and get support when needed is actually beneficial for our long-term wellbeing and personal growth, and even our health. This is especially true for men, who are often isolated in our modern, competitive society.


How long will it take to feel better

Everyone’s different and so is every issue. It is likely that just sharing your issues will have a positive effect, as if lightening a burden.

Long-standing or complex issues rarely magically disappear. Good outcomes that stick usually are the fruits of working together patiently and hopefully over some time.


Can I claim back?

Counselling and psychotherapy with a counsellor (rather than psychiatrist or psychologist) is currently not funded by Medicare, though some private health funds give a rebate.

While this is sometimes regarded as a disadvantage, the advantages include:

- no referral required so no need to discuss intimate matters with your doctor in order to get a referral
- does not appear on your Medicare health record
- counselling and therapy approaches not limited to certain therapy types


How long is a session?

An average session for an individual is 50 – 60 minutes.

A first session for an individual is usually 80 – 90 minutes, to give plenty of time for you to tell your story, for me to ask any questions, and for us to work out what to do next.

An average session for a couple is 80 minutes – 120 minutes.

A first session for a couple is usually 110 – 120 minutes, to give plenty of time for you both to tell the story, for me to ask any questions, and for us to work out what to do next.

Couples can also book a private weekend workshop in which we work together in an intensive way. This is especially helpful for couples who are otherwise unavailable for regular weekly sessions.


Will telephone or video conferencing work if I live out of Sydney or find it hard to manage regular face-to-face sessions?

I am an experienced telephone counsellor, so Skype and telephone phone sessions are also options we can discuss.

Some people find telephone counselling is especially helpful to enable them to talk about intimate personal or sexual matters in a comfortable way.

Ring me on 041 444 7870 to discuss ways for you and/or partner to access therapy even from remote areas.


Is sex counselling different from ordinary counselling?

Our society is a bit funny about sex and relationships, isn’t it? The media talks a great deal about both.

Yet individually we often keep our personal lives and intimate experiences to ourselves. So, when we have worries, concerns or problems, we can feel at a loss.

That’s where talking to a trained therapist really can make a difference, whether your concern relates more to you as an individual or as a part of a relationship.

I am a highly-qualified and experienced counsellor who has specialised knowledge about sexual health, sexual behaviour and sexual problems. I work with many different people who have many different lifestyles and issues.

My training means I am comfortable talking frankly and in an informed way about sexual practices and behaviour, to help you get an understanding of what is going on for you. I can answer factually your questions, which will clear away any misconceptions and misinformation about your sexuality or sexual activities.


What happens in a sex therapy session?

A counselling or therapy session with sexuality as its core issue is much like any other counselling session. Using “talking therapy”, we work together to get a clear picture of your issue or concern and then we find ways to work towards good outcomes.

As discussed in more detail in About Susie I draw on many therapeutic techniques, depending on your particular needs.

I may take a sexual history and therapy may involve asking some personal questions. I may recommend some informative reading, or real-time activities to be undertaken alone or with a partner. Since sexual problems can sometimes be the early-warning signs of other health problems, I might suggest a medical check-up.

Sex counselling is different from sexual surrogacy in that there is no physical contact. Professionalism, respect and dignity are maintained on both sides by professional ethics and boundaries.


My partner won’t come to counselling. Is it any use coming alone?

Yes, it is often very helpful to look at our selves, both within the context of the relationship and separate from it. Having a better life is not dependent on the cooperation of others. Sometimes, when partners see the benefits of therapy, they join in.

I am sincerely interested in helping you to find ways to make you life better. Contact me now to clarify any concerns or queries and to make an appointment.  Phone on 0414 447 870, or using the contact page on this website