Therapy Pro has supported over 8,500 people

counselling and therapy services - a guide to choosing the right therapy - therapy pro

Choosing the Right Therapy: A Guide to Different Counselling and Therapy Services

Navigating the world of counselling and mental health can often be confusing and raise more questions than answers! This might be especially so when you’re seeking support during a time of immediate need.

Understanding the various facets of counselling services and therapy can be a pivotal step in your journey towards emotional wellbeing. Whether you’re considering therapy for the first time or looking to change your current mental counselling approach, knowing the difference between a counsellor and a therapist, the types of therapy available, and the role of mental health professionals is important.

In this article, we’ll explore these key aspects, offering insights to help you make informed decisions about your mental health care.

Our aim is to provide a warm, professional, and compassionate hand to guide you through the many therapy services available, ensuring you find the support that resonates with your unique needs.

We understand the importance of this decision and are here to assist you in choosing the right path to enhance your well-being and foster your personal growth.

As we look further into the world of mental health support, it’s important to recognise that the journey to healing is as diverse as the individual seeking help. Your personal experiences, challenges, and goals are unique, and so should be the approach to addressing them.

Let’s begin by unravelling a common question: What exactly is the difference between seeing a counsellor and a therapist?

The Difference Between a Counsellor and a Therapist

At first glance, the terms ‘counsellor’ and ‘therapist’ might appear interchangeable, but there are subtle yet significant differences in their roles, training, and methods of practice.

Both play an integral part in the field of mental counselling, yet their approaches cater to different aspects of mental health.


Typically, counsellors focus on specific issues or short-term challenges. They are adept at guiding individuals through life transitions, stress management, and decision-making processes.

Counselling often involves a more targeted approach, dealing with immediate problems or concerns, and developing strategies for coping with them.

Counsellors provide a supportive and empathetic environment where individuals can explore their feelings and thoughts openly.


Therapists, mental health social workers, psychologists, or psychotherapists, usually engage in deeper, long-term work with clients.

They are trained to address a wide range of mental health issues, including chronic or severe mental illnesses.

Therapy involves exploring past experiences, identifying patterns, and understanding how these influence current behaviours and thoughts.

Therapists often employ various psychological theories and techniques to facilitate healing and personal growth over a longer period.

Exploring the different therapy services available can help in making a more informed decision about which path might be right for you.

Which Should You Choose?

Both counsellors and therapists play a vital role in providing mental health support. The choice between the two largely depends on the nature of the issues at hand and the depth of exploration or support you are seeking.

Understanding the difference between counsellors and therapists is just the beginning. In the next section, we will explore the various therapy modalities, helping you to gain more insights on what might work best for you.

Exploring Types of Therapy

There are many different types of therapy, each offering unique approaches to address different mental health challenges. From traditional face-to-face sessions to the evolving landscape of online mental health therapy, options are available to help you in whichever aspect suits you.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of therapy:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a popular form of therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns that influence behaviour and emotions. It is particularly effective for treating anxiety, depression, phobias, and other mental health disorders. CBT involves working with a therapist to develop skills for modifying beliefs and behaviours that contribute to your challenges.

Psychodynamic Therapy

This therapy type explores how unconscious thoughts and feelings rooted in early life experiences affect current behaviour. It’s a deep dive into the past to uncover the roots of present issues, ideal for individuals looking to understand the deeper reasons behind their behaviours and emotions.

Humanistic Therapy

Centred on self-development and growth, humanistic therapy emphasises a person’s capacity for self-fulfilment. It encourages a deeper understanding of oneself, focusing on the present rather than the past, and fosters personal growth and self-actualisation.

Family and Couples Therapy

These therapy forms focus on improving communication and resolving conflicts within family units or between couples. It’s about understanding dynamics, improving relationships, and working collaboratively towards healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

Group Therapy

In group therapy, individuals with similar issues gather to discuss and support each other under the guidance of a therapist. It offers a community aspect, allowing participants to share experiences and learn from each other in a supportive environment.

How To Choose The Right Therapy For You?

Each of these therapy types offers unique benefits and approaches to mental health.

The key is to find the one that resonates with your specific situation and feels right for you.

Remember, the journey to mental wellness is personal, and what works for one may not work for another. As you explore these options, consider what aligns best with your needs and goals. Your therapist or counsellor will also have some advice to offer and can discuss the details of each therapy type with you to help you make an informed decision.

While exploring the types of therapy available is crucial, it is equally important to understand the diverse roles of professionals in the mental health field.

A key figure in this landscape is the mental health social worker. Their role, often misunderstood or underrepresented, is vital in providing comprehensive mental health support.

Let’s take a closer look at what a mental health social worker does and how they contribute to the broader spectrum of mental health care.

Understanding the Role of a Mental Health Social Worker

Mental health social workers play a pivotal role in the support and recovery of individuals dealing with mental health challenges. They are not just counsellors or therapists; they are advocates, educators, and navigators of the complex health and social services systems.

Their work often involves a holistic approach, considering not just the mental and emotional aspects of a person’s well-being but also the social and environmental factors impacting their lives.

Social workers are trained to assess and address a wide range of issues, including but not limited to mental health disorders, trauma, substance abuse, and family or relationship challenges. They work in various settings – from hospitals and schools to private practices and community organisations.

One of their key roles is to connect individuals with the appropriate resources and support systems, which can include counselling services, medical treatment, or community assistance programs.

In the context of mental health, social workers can provide therapy and counselling, but their approach often encompasses more than just talk therapy. They are adept at crisis intervention, advocacy, and developing care plans that address both immediate and long-term needs of their clients.

To understand more about how social workers contribute to mental health care, you can explore the comprehensive social work services offered by TherapyPro.

The involvement of a mental health social worker in your care can make a significant difference, especially if you are navigating complex personal challenges or systemic barriers.

Their expertise in the interplay of social and psychological factors – often referred to as psychosocial – ensures that you receive care that is not only empathic and supportive but also practical and informed by a deep understanding of the societal dimensions of mental health.

What is the Cost of Mental Health Services?

The cost of mental health services can vary widely, depending on several factors such as the type of professional you see, the length and frequency of sessions, and the nature of the therapy or support provided.

Generally, the fees for mental health services are influenced by the qualifications and experience of the professional, as well as the setting in which they practice.

Mental Health Social Workers vs. Psychologists

When comparing the fees of mental health social workers with psychologists, it’s important to consider the nature of services they offer.

While both provide valuable support, their training, scope of practice, and method of treatment can differ, which may reflect in their pricing.

Psychologists often specialise in psychotherapy and other forms of psychological testing and treatment. In contrast, social workers may offer a broader range of services, including case management and advocacy, in addition to therapy and counselling.

While there’s no definitive answer to whether mental health social workers charge more or less than psychologists, it’s typically observed that fees can vary based on specialisation, location, and individual practices.

It’s important to research and inquire about the costs associated with each type of professional to make an informed decision.

Accessing Affordable Mental Health Care

The cost shouldn’t be a barrier to receiving quality mental health care. Many countries, including Australia, offer options to subsidise or cover the cost of mental health services. These might include public health services, insurance coverage, sliding scale fees, or mental health care plans that provide access to subsidised sessions with qualified professionals.

In the following section, we will delve deeper into how individuals in Australia can access free or affordable therapy services, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder the path to mental well-being.

Accessing Counselling and Therapy Services in Australia

In Australia, there are several pathways to access affordable counselling and therapy services.

Mental Health Care Plan

One of the most significant steps Australia has taken to make mental health care more accessible is through the implementation of the Mental Health Care Plan.

Under this plan, Australians can get a referral from their general practitioner (GP) to access subsidised mental health services. This plan allows individuals to receive a certain number of sessions with a qualified mental health professional, like a psychologist, mental health social worker, or mental health occupational therapist, at a reduced cost, when bulk-billed.

For more detailed information about this initiative, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on the accessing a mental health care plan in Australia.

Community Health Centres and Online Services

Besides the Mental Health Care Plan, community health centres often provide low-cost or free counselling services. These centres are staffed by qualified mental health professionals and offer a range of services.

Additionally, the rise of online therapy platforms has also made it easier to access affordable therapy options. Many online services offer lower rates compared to traditional in-person therapy, making mental health support more accessible to a wider audience.

Non-Profit Organisations and Charities

Various non-profit organisations and charities in Australia also offer free or low-cost counselling services. These organisations typically focus on specific issues, such as family violence, substance abuse, or youth mental health, and provide specialised support for these areas.

University Clinics

Some universities with psychology, counselling, or social work programs offer free or low-cost therapy services to the public. These services are usually provided by supervised students in training and can be a great option for affordable therapy.

Navigating these options can sometimes be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that there are resources available to help you find the right support, regardless of your financial situation.

Access to mental health care is a right, not a privilege, and in Australia, there are systems in place to ensure that everyone can receive the help they need. We encourage you to explore these options and take that brave step towards your mental health journey.

Your Next Steps

This article has outlined the difference between counselling and therapy services, including the distinct roles of counsellors and therapists, as well as exploring various types of therapy, and recognising the invaluable contribution of mental health social workers. We hope this guide has been informative to help you find the right mental health worker and support.

At Therapy Pro, we understand that everyone’s journey is unique, and finding the right support can be a transformative step in your life. Our compassionate and professional team is here to assist you in navigating these choices, ensuring you receive the support that best suits your needs.

Find out more about our online mental health services and how we can support you in your journey towards improved mental health and well-being.

New & Events

Latest News & Events

Tips for Coordinating Supports Under the NDIS

Benefits of Individualised, Client Centred Support in Psychology

Melbourne: Empower West Expo May 2024