Ever wondered about the correct spelling – is it counselor or counsellor, counseling vs counselling?!
This is quite a common mistake that people make when searching for or writing about Counselling and I’m here. to. set. the. record. straight!
The short answer is that in the UK (and nearly everywhere else apart from the US), the correct spelling is either Counsellor or Counselling. Always with a double L.
Spelling, stars and stripes…
The reason that this mistake gets made is that the American spelling is Counselor or Counseling and that spelling has made its way across the pond. This is probably due to seeing this spelling in media all around the globe and also America being the main origin and one of the most popular places for Counselling.
Counseling / Counselor also tends to have a different meaning in the US – often a school Counselor, which is not the same as a qualified counsellor / Psychotherapist.
So, in short – outside the US? ALWAYS DOUBLE L!
Seen as you’re here…
Just as another side note to remember, there is also a difference between Councillor and Counsellor. A Councillor, being someone who is a member of a council. Another common mistake, believe me!
Getting the correct spelling will also MASSIVELY help with any research you are doing around Counselling or a Counsellor. Let’s say, for example, that you are searching for “find a counselor near me”, you are going to get a lot less relevant hits in the UK than if you were searching for “Find a counsellor near me.” You would probably find what you were looking for in the end (Google is very clever), but it will just give you the best opportunity possible to find what you are looking for and have a wider selection.
This is the reason that when people ask me what I do, I often say Psychotherapist – it means pretty much the same thing as Counsellor (more to be said about that here), avoids spelling mistakes of Counsellor/Counselor/Councillor AND if I say Therapist – there is an additional 10 minutes explaining what type of therapist/therapy! So, Psychotherapist – job done!