What is the difference between therapy, counselling, psychotherapy, and psychology?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but there are differences between them.

Therapy and counselling are the broad terms that encompass all forms of emotional and psychological support and often have a focus on short-term practical solutions.  

Psychology is perhaps best understood as a treatment modality for people who have a mental health diagnosis; psychologists use targeted psychological methods, e.g. cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT.  The primary goal is to reduce symptoms quickly.

Psychotherapy tends to be longer term and is more exploratory in nature. This type of therapy looks to develop self-awareness and emotional resilience through exploring current experiences, personal history, and relationship patterns.  Psychotherapy training often includes the therapist doing many hours of personal therapy themselves before becoming a psychotherapist.

Registered psychologists and mental health social workers often work in conjunction with medical providers (such as GPs and psychiatrists) to provide targeted treatments for people with mental health issues.  They may use various therapeutic approaches, including psychotherapy, as part of their treatment.

If you have a mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression, you and your doctor can create a mental health plan to treat it. A mental health treatment plan lets you claim a rebate for up to 10 individual and 10 group sessions with a mental health professional each calendar year.

Types of therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)


Gestalt therapy

Internal Family Systems (IFS)


Schema Therapy

Meet our therapists

Our therapists are experienced and offer a range of therapeutic approaches