There is some overlap between counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling is usually a briefer treatment within which specific behavioural problems or symptoms are addressed. Psychotherapy tends to focus on understanding at depth complex or deep-rooted concerns where developing awareness or insight into emotional problems and difficulties can benefit from a longer time frame.

Counsellor training tends to be shorter than psychotherapy training. Some psychotherapists may also call themselves counsellors in certain settings where the latter title seems more socially acceptable and less intrusive to the public.