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Therapy Vs. Counseling

Therapy Vs. Counseling

Waypoint Recovery Center in South Carolina sees immense value in both therapy and counseling. However, you may be wondering if these two words are interchangeable. What’s the difference? The main difference is in how long each is supposed to last. Therapy tends to refer to longer-term treatment, while counseling is shorter in length with a specific goal and end-date. The chart below offers a more detailed comparison. 

Recovery TherapyRecovery Counseling
Dives into many areas and topicsConcentrated focus on a specific issue or dynamic
Stable mental health is the general goalA specific goal or outcome is pinpointed
Great for coping with ongoing issues or mental health disordersGreat for managing a specific situation in a fixed point in time

How To Define Recovery Therapy

Therapy is work that you undergo to better understand yourself, your behaviors, your traumas, and your triggers. It involves talking, opening up, being vulnerable with your therapist, exercising critical thinking and analytical skills, practicing new behaviors, and talking through hardships. 

This work is carried out with a licensed healthcare professional. The general goal of therapy is to relieve emotional pain and distress—as well as cope with mental health disorders like PTSD, depression, or anxiety that may have no definitive cure. Different forms of scientifically verified therapies include but are not limited to the following:

  • Experiential Therapy that allows you to explore your emotions and experiences through actions like caring for horses or creating art
  • Individual Therapy that includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), expressive arts therapy, recreational therapy, and brain-based therapy
  • Group Therapy that can include trauma-related peer therapy groupings as well as substance-related groupings for peers

All of Waypoint’s therapies are structured to uphold mutual support, respect, confidentiality, and empathy at all times. Therapy is a long-term endeavor. Its goal doesn’t include an end date. Therapy is a healthy choice for anyone, not just those in recovery. 

Understanding What Recovery Counseling Means

Recovery counseling, like all counseling, can be thought of as a concentrated supplement to your mental health and sobriety. While working with a licensed clinical mental health counselor, you look deeply and rigorously at a specific issue that could be impacting your success as a sober person. 

Depending on how long you work with us in counseling, we can undergo therapy or take a more short-term type of structure to your mental health treatment. We can also provide counseling and therapeutic services to friends and family members of Waypoint patients. We highly recommend checking out our family services, as recovery truly is a group effort.  

The Most Powerful Science-Based Therapies For People in Recovery

The most effective evidence-based therapeutic approaches aren’t limited to the following, but these are some of the most popular. We offer these types directly or in a blended method:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Drug counseling (individual and group)
  • Multidimensional family therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy (supportive/expressive therapy)
  • Twelve-step facilitation therapy

We also acknowledge that many people deal with addiction while simultaneously trying to cope with a mental health disorder that may or may not be related to substance abuse. This is where more nuanced and hybrid types of therapies can come into play. 

Therapy Vs. Counseling: Which Is Right For Me?

Therapy and counseling aren’t one-size-fits-all operations. When you’re testing these different types of mental health treatments and support structures, try to keep in mind the overarching factors that measure the success of therapy, counseling, and recovery treatment generally:

  • You eventually feel inspired, empowered, and hopeful 
  • You begin to connect dots and develop more insight into how you operate and how you can improve
  • You begin to notice that you have more control, more awareness, and more wisdom
  • You feel a sense of comfort, trust, and understanding with your counselor, therapist, or peers in group therapy/counseling settings
  • You gain new skills and/or coping methods 

You also should feel at ease participating in both counseling and therapy throughout your time at Waypoint or later in the future. If you’re struggling, simply let us know! 

Experiment With Therapy and Counseling in North Charleston, SC

Waypoint guides people through counseling and therapy with care, kindness, and expertise. Whether you’re utilizing our facility in Cameron or our center in North Charleston—feel free to contact us with any questions about which avenue is best for you. 


waypoint recovery center

For more information about Waypoint Recovery Center’s substance use disorder treatment services, please contact us anytime at (854) 214-2100.

Our Locations

Outpatient Treatment
5401 Netherby Lane, Suite 402
North Charleston, SC 29420
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Inpatient Treatment
499 Wild Hearts Rd
Cameron, SC 29030
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