Therapy is an incredibly valuable part of treating mental health issues like anxiety and depression or addressing stressful situations like family, career, or relationship issues. Because of this, choosing a therapist who is right for you and your needs is an important decision. The type of therapy you need and the values you want in a therapist are just two things to think about as you take this first step.
Types of Therapists
When choosing a therapist, you might first consider what type of therapy you need. Therapists specialize in a variety of approaches to address different types of mental health issues. For example, if you’re looking to address negative thought patterns you might consider cognitive-behavior therapy, while acceptance and commitment therapy places its focus on actions applied to value-driven goals. A person hoping to gain skills training for problem-solving to manage emotions might consider dialectical behavior therapy. Exposure therapy is used to reduce anxiety and phobias by exposing a person to their fears in small doses, and person-centered therapy places focus on listening to a person’s concerns and helping imagine a path forward through discussion.
While considering the type of therapy you need, you might also want to consider a therapist’s personality, values, interests, and experience. Above all, your comfort level is what’s important. A good therapist will always believe in and encourage your progress in treatment, communicate openly and authentically, and earn your trust to share uncomfortable thoughts or feelings.
How to Choose a Therapist
When you are ready to choose a therapist, you should consider the type of therapist who is best suited to your mental health needs. With this, there are critical items to keep in mind.
For example, you should consider your budget and find out if your insurance plan will cover therapy. If it doesn’t, you can inquire about a therapist’s hourly rate and discuss what course of treatment might be most effective based on what you can afford. Some therapists offer a sliding scale, but other avenues, like working with a student counselor or an online platform where costs may be lower, can be strong alternative options.
Depending on your needs, flexibility when scheduling might also be an important thing to consider, as well as the option of attending therapy online as opposed to in-person.
After you’ve considered the options available to you when choosing a therapist, you’ll be ready to begin the rewarding and hopeful journey toward improved mental health with someone tailored to your specific needs.