I think the difference is whether you're providing "general psychoeducation, supportive listening, and helping the patient decide their goals and how to get there" versus psychotherapy assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
As an LCSW it is within my scope of practice to diagnose and treat mental illness, and to provide psychotherapy.
But with an RN (when I hopefully get there), and if I were working in a nursing role, I would only be able to use nursing diagnoses and nursing interventions. Psychotherapy is outside the scope of practice for RNs, but therapeutic communication, goal setting, motivational interviewing are all very much within scope of practice.
When I (also hopefully) finish the psychNP program I'm targeting, I would again be able to diagnose and treat mental illness both with psychotherapy AND pharmacotherapy.
Psychotherapy is different than counseling in that psychotherapy is a more clinically oriented and specific form of treatment, whereas counseling is more general and supportive in nature. For example, in my workplace we have peer recovery specialists who can definitely provide therapeutic support and coaching. But if someone dives into trauma history and wants help getting that resolved, the peer is going to send them to me for therapy because trauma therapy is outside the scope of practice for a peer. I would imagine (AND HOPE to be honest), that psychRNs are aware that associates and bachelors degrees in nursing would allow them to provide supportive counseling but not psychotherapy because they lack the advanced training in clinical psych, therapeutic orientation and frame, and technique.
I hope that makes sense, and I'd love to keep talking about it.
If you are looking for more counseling and therapy, consider a clinical MSW program. There's a TON of flexibility in roles and types of work you can do with an MSW, particularly if you get your clinical social work license.
ps- @PG2018 I'd love to have a thread to talk about neo-Kraepelinianism and NIMH's push toward a more biological psychiatry understanding of mental illness