What Type of Therapist Should I See?

a woman sitting on a couch

Making the decision to see a therapist can be difficult, but it’s an important step towards taking better care of your mental health. Whether you’re suffering from a diagnosed condition like bipolar disorder or find yourself trying to manage phobias and symptoms that you don’t have an explanation for yet, therapy can be an incredible help. Therapy encompasses a variety of forms of treatment, including cognitive therapy, psychotherapy, and many other types that are designed to target isolated symptoms. For many people, it can be hard to find the right clinician to help them. If you’re considering therapy and aren’t sure where to make an appointment, read on to learn more about different types of therapists and which one you should see.

What are some different types of therapy?


Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of different mental health issues and is one of the more common types of therapy. CBT is a style of treatment that focuses on psycho-social intervention to improve mental health, with the aim of changing cognitive distortions, improving emotional regulation, and developing new skills and coping strategies. CBT can be both short- or long-term. It can be used to treat specific problems like insomnia in around 6–12 weeks but can also address lifestyle choices and mental illnesses over a longer period of time, including anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you’re dealing with issues involving your family, you may want to look into family therapy programs and make an appointment with a family therapist. Many programs for family therapy also provide additional help for parents in the form of coaching and support groups. Even if a member of the family pursues individual therapy, it can be beneficial to have a few sessions with members of your family to help work through more complex issues.

One of the main decisions you’ll have to make when seeking therapy is whether you’re interested in a psychiatrist, who may recommend psychiatric medication to address your symptoms, or if you’d prefer to try talk therapy or stick to non-pharmaceutical treatments for now. Some mental illnesses benefit significantly from management via medication. The best way to find out more about what you need is to reach out to a mental health professional.

How can you find a therapist?


Now that you know a little more about some different types of therapy, you might be wondering how to find a therapist. It can be tricky to find someone you trust and connect with to help treat and improve your mental health. If you’re not sure if someone would be a good fit, you should consider reaching out to them. If they can’t help you or don’t think that they’re the right type of therapist for you, they may be able to give you a recommendation for a doctor who can better address your issues.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your psychiatrist or psychologist after your first session, it’s okay not to go back. While it can be worth it to give it a few weeks before moving on, the reality is you may not find your therapist on your first try. People of all ages struggle to find a form of therapy and therapist that is best for them, and it can take time to get it right.

The stigma against treatment can be strong, but the tide is starting to turn in terms of people feeling comfortable seeking help for their mental health conditions. It can take some trial and error to find the right therapist and the right treatment plan, but it’s worth it to be patient and give yourself time. There are a number of types of therapy and different approaches to consider. Don’t be scared to involve your family members in the healing process. You can improve your relationships and begin to move forward after difficult situations, in addition to improving your ability to communicate with each other. While it can be intimidating and overwhelming to seek treatment to improve your mental health, there are few things more worth investing in.