How to Find the Right Mental Counselor for Me?

Learn how to find mental counselor services that fit your needs and expectations in this informative article.

How Does Therapy Work?

An estimated 52.9 million adults in the United States have a mental illness, ranging from mild to severe. Fortunately, therapy can help with a variety of issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief, mood disorders, stress, and substance abuse disorders.1

Psychotherapy aims to help individuals work through mental health conditions and concerns in a healthy way and learn coping techniques to deal with symptoms that may arise in the future. A mental health counselor can be someone to talk to and seek advice from for professional help, as they utilize different approaches depending on each patient’s needs.

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The Difference Between Psychologists and Mental Health Counselors

While psychologists and mental health counselors certainly work in the same fields, some of their responsibilities differ. The most significant difference is that psychologists often require more certifications and education than counselors and often have a narrower range of patients. Additionally, psychologists tend to focus more on utilizing psychological assessments, techniques, and research to help treat patients with mental health conditions and disorders.

On the other hand, counselors do not require as intensive schooling and certifications as psychologists. They usually focus more on improving overall mental health and well-being through community resources.

Different Approaches to Therapy

Knowing how to find a mental health counselor that works for you can be difficult. Many offer a broad range of services, so choosing a mental health counselor can be daunting if you do not know what you need. Therefore, learning about the various types of therapy approaches can be a good start to figuring out what you need. Some common approaches to therapy will be detailed below.


Counseling is one of the most common approaches and involves sitting with a therapist or counselor one-on-one and talking through symptoms and other issues. Counselors help patients set goals, improve communication skills, foster positive behavioral change, and help create and develop healthy coping skills.


Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a popular form of therapy that consists of the therapist and patient utilizing communication to improve various mental health concerns and issues affecting the patient’s life. For instance, talking through problems can reveal specific triggers and unhealthy thought patterns or behaviors.

Reviews of hundreds of studies suggest that 75% of people benefit from psychotherapy, and 80% are better off by the end of treatment than those who did not receive treatment.2

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a short-term form of psychotherapy that aims to identify negative thoughts and behaviors, recognize a pattern within them, and then replace these with more positive and helpful behaviors. It’s a very popular and evidence-based therapy approach that can help with many issues, such as substance abuse disorder and depression

One meta-analysis evaluating one hundred fifteen studies found that CBT for major depression disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PAD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD) all resulted in high effect sizes (ranging between 0.75 to 0.88) and positive outcomes.3

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

IPT focuses on relieving certain symptoms by working on patients’ interpersonal skills and functioning. This means working on communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and other areas of difficulty that can arise from interpersonal relationships.

Group Therapy

Instead of utilizing a one-on-one approach with a therapist, group therapy involves multiple patients attending the same therapy session. This can help people foster communication skills, gain support from others, and hear from others who may have the same difficulties. As a result, group therapy can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

In a four-year study following patients who received group therapy, results showed a 14% decline in readmissions for inpatient psychiatric care and a significant increase in patient satisfaction.4

Different Types of Therapy Professionals

There are many types of licensed mental health counselors who can help you or your loved one. In addition to learning about the different types of therapy, it is also beneficial to note and recognize the different therapy professionals available. Some of them include:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and family therapy counselors 
  • Family counselors 
  • Licensed professional counselors 
  • Social workers

Each mental health provider offers different services to target specific needs. Thus, reaching out to a therapist who specializes in the concerns you want help with will enhance the success of each session.

How to Find the Right Mental Health Counselor for Me?

Finding the right mental health counselor for you may seem confusing, but knowing what to ask yourself can be a great start. If you or your loved one have been experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or substance abuse disorders or are unable to handle side effects related to grief, stress, work issues, or other interpersonal matters, it may be time to seek out a counselor.

Tips for Finding the Right Mental Health Counselor

Here are a few tips on what to look for when you’re searching for a counselor or therapist:

  • Research: One of the best things you can do before reaching out to anyone is to do your research. Look into services near you, ask friends and family, and consult your provider directly. Doing your research first will help the task seem less daunting and give you a good start on who is available near you and what they offer. 
  • Budget: All types of services are different, and knowing what your insurance covers is vital. Make sure you look into what mental health services and providers are covered by your insurance to reduce the costs, as out-of-network options will be more costly. 
  • Consultations: Many offices offer consultations, most of which are free, to see if the help you need will fit with what the office provides. If not, many places will often recommend where to go instead.
  • Be Open-Minded: While finding a mental health counselor can be stressful, it’s important to remain open-minded. This can help you find the perfect counselor who can help you every step of the way.
Finding the Right Mental Health Counselor

Find a Mental Health Counselor at Essence Healthcare

Finding a mental health counselor near you can be as easy as asking your friends and family, inquiring with your health or insurance provider, or searching on the internet for offices near you. As long as you keep in mind your budget, what you may need help with, and the research you’ve done, this process can be stress-free.

How We Can Help

At Essence Healthcare, we offer a vast range of services, including mental health counselors who can help you or your loved ones. We’re here to help you work through whatever issues or symptoms you may be experiencing, ranging from anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders, grief, and many others. We have a team of supportive and skilled staff who will sit with you and work through your symptoms with patience and care.

Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment with a mental health counselor. We are here to help.

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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.