Choosing the right therapist for your mental health needs can often be challenging or overwhelming. There are different types of therapists that possess skills that work for some presenting problems, but not all. Here are some tips on how to choose the right therapist for you to ensure you see the progress you’re seeking.

The first step in choosing the right therapist is understanding what you’re looking for. Are you seeking a safe space to vent? Are you hoping to develop skills to manage your symptoms? Maybe you’re looking to strengthen your coping skills to manage general life stressors. Whatever your reason(s), having an idea of why you are seeking therapy will help you choose your ideal therapist.

The next step is identifying how long you want to engage in treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy typically occurs between 8-12 sessions, whereas talk therapy can last several months to years based on your need.

There are several types of therapists that address various mental health needs:

  1. Marriage and family counselors work with individuals, couples, and/or families to address family dynamic issues that interfere with maintaining a healthy relationship. They address behaviors on an individual and collective level to help clients find cohesion within their family.
  2. Addiction therapists specialize in overcoming substance use issues. They work with clients to address problems from the past that resulted in coping with substances including alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs.
  3. Cognitive-behavioral therapists use a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy to address unhelpful thinking and maladaptive behaviors that lead to distress and impaired functioning.
  4. Psychodynamic therapists utilize in-depth talk therapy to identify root causes of emotional issues. They help clients engage in self-examination and self-reflection to identify patterns that result in problematic thinking and behaviors.
  5. Dialectical behavioral therapists focus on mental health conditions such as borderline personality disorder. These therapists utilize various skills to improve distress tolerance such as self-soothing, distractions, and cost-benefit analysis.
  6. Acceptance and commitment therapists encourage clients to embrace their thoughts and feelings instead of fighting or forcing change. Clients develop psychological flexibility through mindfulness skills and self-acceptance.

The last step is to reach out to a trusted provider to schedule an intake and begin your therapeutic journey. It is important that your therapist is licensed or supervised by a licensed provider (e.g. Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Supervisor Practicum Student/Intern, etc.). This ensures that you are receiving services from a qualified professional.

If you are looking to get connected with a therapist and begin the therapeutic journey, Quintessential Health has clinicians available. We would love to meet with you and discuss the next steps in this process. Feel free to call us at 1-833-QHCARES (742-2737) or visit our website to schedule an appointment:

Written by our clinician: Simone Sims-Riley