How to Find the Right Therapist For Me?
Use this guide to learn how to find a therapist who is right for you and your unique subset of needs.
How to Find a Therapist
If you’re interested in finding a therapist, we congratulate you on taking a positive step toward improving your mental health. Therapy can be a useful tool, but if you’re unfamiliar with this treatment, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start, which therapy to try, and how therapy works.
How Does Therapy Work?
There are many types of therapy, and each can work a little differently. In general, therapy works by allowing you to discuss your emotions, problems, and goals with a trained mental health professional. A therapist will help you work through your problems, teach you better ways to handle emotions and conflict, and ultimately help you reach your goals to live a happier and more fulfilling life.1
What Is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Therapist?
While psychologists and therapists share some similarities, there are a few differences between them. These differences will be detailed below.2
“Therapist” tends to be used as an umbrella term for mental health professionals, so many different disciplines and professions fall under the title of therapist. In general, therapists focus on a more philosophical approach, utilize talk therapy, address, discuss, and treat mental health concerns, and help with and improve clients’ feelings, emotions, and well-being.
Psychologists focus on a more medical and behavioral science approach to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health issues, learning disabilities, addictions, and behavioral problems. In addition, they help clients work through their emotions to understand their condition better, provide various therapies, and work with psychiatrists for medication treatments.
Different Approaches to Therapy
It’s important to participate in a therapy that works best for you. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find a therapist you connect with but knowing some common therapeutic approaches may help narrow down the options.
If you’re new to therapy, counseling could be a good option. It’s typically shorter-term than other types of therapy and focuses on one specific issue. In counseling, you and your therapist will examine your thought patterns, behaviors, and how you see yourself and the world and help you find solutions to improve the issue you’re experiencing.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is useful in treating many mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. In CBT, therapy is very structured, and there are a limited number of sessions.3
Your therapist will help you become aware of negative thought patterns and behaviors, so you can reshape them and improve your mental health. Additionally, CBT is a common therapy practice, so it should be easy to find a therapist who uses this modality.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Choosing a therapist who practices IPT means they will help you with your problems by examining how you relate to the people in your life. It does not focus on past problems or relationships but rather helps you find solutions to improve current issues. This type of therapy is most often used for people with major depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and mood disorders.
This type of therapy involves one or more therapists instructing a group of five to fifteen people. Group therapy can treat a variety of mental health issues, much like other forms of therapy. It can be a good option for people who want to connect with others they can relate with on their healing journey.
Different Types of Therapy Professionals
If you want to find a therapist but are unsure which type to reach out to, we’ve provided a quick explanation for each.
Mental Health Counselors
Mental health counselors provide counseling and psychotherapy to help treat mental health problems, improve communication and self-esteem, and promote behavior change.
Family counselors focus on improving relationships between family members and helping them overcome mental or emotional problems.
Marriage therapists focus on improving the relationship between married couples and helping them solve issues causing distress.
Social Workers/Clinical Social Workers
Social workers focus on improving people’s lives, such as helping adjust to changes and finding or getting resources to help clients. Clinical social workers focus on diagnosing and treating mental health issues, developing treatment plans, referring clients to resources and services for further help, and evaluating clients’ progress.
Psychologists provide counseling and psychotherapy, psychological testing, and treatment for mental health disorders.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication and work with psychologists or therapists to provide prescription treatment. Psychiatrists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders and illnesses, and they can monitor physical conditions caused by mental illness.
While each type of therapist may specialize in something different, all mental health professionals are trained on many of the same things. Therefore, the best option when finding a therapist is to research before making an appointment and reach out to therapists to ask specific questions.
Finding the Right Therapist For Me
It can be hard to find a therapist you connect with. That’s why it’s important to do some research before scheduling that first appointment, consider your budget, and try consultations. Read on for more information about choosing a therapist.
Choosing the right therapist means choosing someone who can best help you with your specific needs. We recommend taking note of what you’re looking to get out of therapy and what kind of therapist you want—do you prefer a female therapist? Someone who incorporates spirituality into their practice? Someone trained in EMDR?
Simply searching ‘find a therapist near me’ will bring up dozens of options, so you’ll want to know what you’re looking for before reaching out to one.
You can find a good therapist no matter your budget, but be sure to ask about a therapist’s rates and whether they accept your insurance. If you find a therapist you like but think their rates may be too high, be sure to ask if they offer sliding-scale pricing, which bases the fee for each session on your income.
Consultations can be a great way to find the right therapist because you have the opportunity to really get to know the therapist before committing to treatment. Many therapists offer free consulting sessions where you can interview the therapist to see if they meet your needs.
You can ask how long they’ve been working in the field, what their specialty and approaches are, and how much experience they have working with people who have your background and issues.
If you find a mental health counselor who you click with but doesn’t seem 100% right on paper, it still may be worth trying a few therapy sessions with them. One of the most important parts of therapy is the connection built between the client and the therapist, so even if your therapist doesn’t specialize in your particular condition, they may still be a great fit.4
Key Questions to Ask Yourself
A few questions you may want to ask yourself before finding a therapist include:
Key Questions to Ask a Therapist
A few questions to ask a licensed therapist or mental health provider include:
Find a Mental Health Therapist at Anew Treatment Center
Now that you have some advice on how to find a therapist, it’s time to get started! Whether you’re looking to ease into therapy or find the right therapist for an intensive therapy program, there are many options out there for you to choose from.
At Anew Treatment Center, we offer a variety of programs, treatment options, and therapies to provide a personalized treatment plan for every client. With trained mental health professionals specializing in over a dozen modalities to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, you can find the perfect therapist for you. Find out more by contacting us today.
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Our team is ready to discuss your treatment options with you. Your call is confidential with no obligation is required.