How to Find the Right Therapist for Me

Trying to find a therapist? Treatment is a vital step towards wellness. Use this guide to learn how to find the right therapist for you.

How Therapy and Counseling Can Help

If you’re thinking about finding a therapist, you’re in good company! According to the CDC, nearly 20% of Americans received mental health assistance in 2019, and therapy participation rates have only been increasing since the start of the pandemic.1

While most of us will experience difficulties in life at one point or another, some people opt for medication over talking to a therapist. While medications like SSRIs and mood stabilizers can indeed be great tools for getting through hard times, therapy provides the unique benefit of addressing the root cause of mental health issues and providing lasting insight and positive change.

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When Should I Consider Therapy?

If you’re unsure whether you should find a therapist, remember that almost anyone can benefit from therapy or counseling. It can help you better understand yourself and learn valuable ways to cope with problems in life. There is no shame in seeing a therapist, and many people find it useful.

Consider Therapy When

More reasons to consider seeking professional mental help include:

  • Feeling uncertain or lacking confidence in yourself
  • Forming a habit of avoiding certain people, places, or situations
  • Experiencing changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Experiencing feelings of anger or agitation
  • Having low energy or low mood
  • Having unexplainable bouts of extreme energy
  • Feeling overwhelmed in life
  • Feeling like you must always stay very busy

Types of Therapy and Therapists

If you’re looking to find a therapist, it’s important to consider different types of therapy. Different types of therapies utilize various techniques and methods, and some are more effective in treating specific conditions and issues than others. Common types of therapy and counseling include:

  • Individual or one-on-one therapy, where it is just you and the therapist
  • Family therapy, which includes you and one or more members of the family
  • Group therapy, which involves a group instructor or therapist and a group of five or more people
  • Couples therapy or marriage counseling, which involves you and your partner attending the therapy sessions together

Types of Therapists to Consider

There are also different types of therapists and counselors with different educational backgrounds and licenses. The strategies and techniques vary from one therapist to another, as they usually incorporate and base their treatments on what they believe is best for their clients. These therapists and counselors include:

  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Psychiatrists

Tips for Finding a Therapist

It can be tough to find a therapist that works well with you and suits your individual needs, especially if you don’t know where to start. But choosing a therapist doesn’t have to be difficult. Below, we offer some tips on how to find the right therapist for you.

Choose Your Therapy Type

It’s important to figure out which type of therapy will be best for you. For example, you may want to consider a trauma-focused therapist if you have a history of trauma or a condition like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you seek help with relationship issues, you may find success with a psychologist for relationships, like a couples counselor. 2

Nevertheless, if you’re unsure exactly what type of therapy you need, don’t be afraid to do research and ask questions. Also, many therapists know several therapeutic approaches and modalities and have experience treating various conditions, which can help expand your options.

Consider Your Budget

Before scheduling your first appointment, think about how much you want to spend per week or month on therapy sessions. Therapy can be affordable, but rates are highly dependent on individual therapists and insurance policies. Before booking a session, be sure to research the average rates or talk to a therapist about their rate information.

Tap Into Your Network

If you have been unlucky in finding a mental health therapist, consider asking friends and family for therapist advice or recommendations for finding a good therapist.

Look at Credentials

It’s important that you trust and respect your therapist, and part of that includes knowing that they are qualified to help you. Be sure to research or ask about credentials.

Consider Their Cultural Competence

Therapists are trained to help a wide variety of people; nevertheless, it is vital to ensure your therapist understands and supports you without bias. Be sure to ask your potential therapists questions about cultural competency. If they do not seem to be culturally competent, they may not be a good fit for you.

Figure Out Therapy Goals

It’s okay to be uncertain about what you want to talk about in therapy, but it is a good plan to have a general idea of what you want to focus on in therapy.

Consider Online Therapy

Online therapy is a great and accessible option for people with busy schedules or those who can’t or don’t want to commute to therapy. Studies show that online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy, especially for depression, anxiety, and trauma. 3

Ask Questions

Remember to ask plenty of questions when choosing a mental health therapist. Asking about their experience, credentials, and therapy process will ensure that you’ve found a good fit. 4

Try a Few Different Therapists

Lastly, don’t be surprised if you end up trying a few different therapists before you find the therapist you really click with. Considering how emotional therapy can be, it’s important that you find someone you can trust—and sometimes, that takes time.

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What to Expect When Seeing a Therapist

If you’ve never tried therapy, you may not know what to expect. There are many different types of therapy, and every therapist is different, so there are no exact guidelines for how your therapy sessions will go. Nonetheless, there are some things you should expect:

  • Expect a good fit between you and your therapist. If you don’t click with your therapist, even after just a few sessions, it’s probably time to look for a new one.
  • Expect therapy to be a partnership. You open up to your healing therapist, and in turn, they offer professional support and guidance.
  • Do not expect therapy to always feel pleasant or easy. Processing feelings and recounting traumatic experiences can be hard, but the outcome is worth it.
  • Expect therapy to be a safe space where you can open up and begin to heal.

Making the Most of Therapy and Counseling

A few more things to remember when embarking on finding a mental health therapist include:

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Maximize success by making healthy lifestyle changes along with attending therapy. For example, eating well and exercising regularly can improve mental health, and paired with talking to a therapist, you’re likely to see significant improvements in your outlook and well-being.

Make Responsible Choices

Don’t expect your therapist to tell you how to live your life—your choices in life are still your responsibility. Your therapist will not tell you what to do but rather support you and offer guidance.

Commit to Treatment

Even when therapy gets hard or you feel like you may not need it anymore, it’s important to follow through with your treatment plan to get the most out of therapy.

Get Help to Find the Right Therapist at Essence Healthcare

At Essence, your well-being is our priority. With a qualified and skilled team trained in a variety of therapeutic modalities, we can offer you the type of therapy that best suits your individual needs. Contact us to learn more.

Get Help to Find the Right Therapist at Essence Healthcare

At Essence, your well-being is our priority. With a qualified and skilled team trained in a variety of therapeutic modalities, we can offer you the type of therapy that best suits your individual needs. Contact us to learn more.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT combines individual talk therapy with group skills training to treat BPD (borderline personality disorder). On the other hand, mental health professionals often use Acceptance and Commitment training with various therapeutic populations with individuals, groups, families, and couples in both short-term and long-term treatment.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy also enables your treatment team to construct and tailor their mindfulness approaches or co-create them with you, rather than following a manualized framework. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the first Western psychotherapy born from a basic research endeavor incorporated into cognition and human language.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.