Psychotherapy is a therapeutic process that takes place between a mental health professional (such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor) and an individual, couple, family or group with the goal of addressing and resolving emotional, mental, behavioral and/or relational problems.
It is an effective way to help people understand and manage their thoughts, emotions and behaviors more effectively, promoting well-being and a better quality of life.
Streams of psychotherapy
There are several approaches and modalities of psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, humanistic therapy, systemic therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), among others. Each approach has its own theories and techniques to address different problems, and can be adapted according to the needs and preferences of each individual or group.
Psychodynamic therapy is a form of psychotherapy based on the psychoanalytic theories developed by Sigmund Freud and his followers. It focuses on exploring and resolving unconscious inner and emotional conflicts, seeking to understand the underlying causes of a person’s problems rather than focusing solely on symptoms.
Psychodynamic therapy operates on the premise that our past experiences, especially in childhood, have a significant impact on our adult lives and can contribute to patterns of behavior and negative emotions. During sessions, the therapist and patient work together to explore the relationships, experiences and feelings that may be influencing the patient’s current behavior and emotional problems.
It may be recommended in a variety of situations, such as:
- Emotional or relational difficulties: problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, interpersonal relationship difficulties or intimacy problems.
- Trauma: People who have experienced trauma or abuse in their past and need to process and work through those events.
- Negative behavior patterns: When someone is stuck in destructive or self-limiting behavior patterns and needs to understand the underlying causes to achieve sustainable change.
- Self-awareness and personal growth: Individuals seeking to explore and understand deep aspects of themselves to improve their emotional well-being and quality of life.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on the interaction between a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs influence how we feel and act, and that changing these patterns can help us improve our mental health and emotional well-being.
CBT is a more structured and goal-oriented approach than psychodynamic therapy. During sessions, the therapist and patient work together to identify and address negative or irrational thoughts and beliefs, as well as associated problem behaviors. CBT uses specific techniques and tools to challenge and modify these patterns, such as cognitive restructuring, exposure, relaxation and social skills training.
This type of psychological therapy has been shown to be useful in addressing certain types of disorders such as:
- Anxiety disorders: CBT is an effective treatment for disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social phobia.
- Depression: CBT has been shown to be effective in treating depression, helping patients change negative thoughts and develop better coping skills.
- Mood disorders: CBT can be useful in the treatment of disorders such as bipolar disorder, in combination with pharmacological treatment and other interventions.
- Eating disorders: CBT is a key component in the treatment of disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): CBT, especially exposure and response prevention therapy, is effective in the treatment of OCD.
Humanistic therapy focuses on people’s innate potential and capacity for growth and self-actualization. This approach was developed in response to the theories of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, and is based on the idea that each individual has the capacity to develop fully and find a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.
In humanistic therapy, the therapist creates a safe, empathic and non-judgmental environment in which the patient can explore his or her thoughts, feelings and experiences without fear of judgment. The therapist focuses on understanding and validating the patient’s subjective experiences, as well as promoting the development of self-awareness and self-reflection.
Some approaches within humanistic therapy include client-centered therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, and Gestalt therapy, developed by Fritz Perls, among others. Humanistic therapy may be recommended in a variety of situations, such as:
- Personal development and self-awareness: Humanistic therapy can be useful for people seeking to explore their own values, beliefs and goals, and to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-actualization.
- Emotional and relational problems: Humanistic therapy can help address problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and difficulties in interpersonal relationships by promoting greater understanding and acceptance of self and others.
- Grief and loss: Humanistic therapy can be useful in helping people cope with and process grief, loss and other major life changes, providing emotional support and promoting resilience.
- Life transitions and existential crises: Humanistic therapy can be beneficial for those facing existential crises or major life transitions, such as career change, retirement, divorce, or illness, by helping to explore personal meaning and purpose in these situations.
Systemic therapy focuses on the dynamics and interactions between members of a group or system, such as a family, couple or work group. This approach is based on the idea that individual problems and psychological symptoms often arise and are maintained within the context of relationships and communication with others.
Rather than focusing solely on the individual, systemic therapy examines how patterns of behavior, communication, and roles in the system affect each member and the system as a whole. The goal of systemic therapy is to identify and address these dysfunctional patterns, promoting changes in the way system members interact and relate to each other.
Some approaches within systemic therapy include family therapy, couples therapy and group therapy. Systemic therapy may be recommended in a variety of situations, such as:
- Family and relational problems: systemic therapy can be helpful in addressing conflicts, communication problems and dysfunctional patterns in family, couple or group relationships.
- Behavioral problems in children and adolescents: Systemic therapy can help address behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents by examining how family patterns and interactions may be contributing to these problems.
- Addictions and eating disorders: Systemic therapy can be beneficial in treating addictions and eating disorders by addressing relational factors and family dynamics that may be influencing the problem.
- Adult mental health problems: Systemic therapy can be helpful in the treatment of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, by exploring how relationships and communication with others may be affecting an individual’s emotional health.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychotherapy approach based on the process theory of language and cognition called Relational Frame Theory. ACT focuses on helping people develop greater psychological flexibility and acceptance of their thoughts and emotions, rather than fighting them or trying to eliminate them.
The primary goal of ACT is to help people live a richer and more meaningful life by aligning their actions with their personal values, while learning to manage the difficult thoughts and emotions that may arise in the process.
ACT uses a combination of acceptance, mindfulness and engagement techniques to help patients to:
- Develop greater awareness of their thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them.
- Accept and make space for difficult emotions and thoughts, rather than trying to avoid or control them.
- Identify and clarify their personal values and life goals.
Taking committed action based on those values, even when facing emotional or cognitive difficulties.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy may be recommended in a variety of situations, such as:
- Anxiety disorders: ACT can be useful in addressing anxiety by helping people accept and manage their anxious thoughts and emotions, rather than trying to eliminate or control them.
- Depression: ACT can help people with depression develop greater awareness and acceptance of their negative thoughts and emotions, while taking steps to live a more meaningful and enriching life.
- Stress management: ACT can be beneficial for those facing stressful or difficult situations in their lives by teaching mindfulness and acceptance skills to manage stress more effectively.
- Adjustment Disorders: ACT can be helpful for those facing major life changes, such as loss, career transitions, or health problems, by helping them accept and adapt to new circumstances while still acting in accordance with their values.
- Chronic pain and illness: ACT can be effective in managing chronic pain and coping with chronic illness by helping people accept and live with pain and physical limitations while seeking to improve their quality of life.
Gestalt therapy is a humanistic therapeutic approach developed by Fritz Perls and his colleagues in the 1950s. This approach focuses on present moment experience, self-awareness and authenticity in interpersonal relationships. It seeks to help people integrate their thoughts, emotions and behaviors, and become aware of how these aspects influence their well-being and their relationships with others.
Within Gestalt therapy, the therapist and patient work together to:
- Increase the patient’s awareness of their thoughts, emotions and behaviors in the present moment.
- Identify and address patterns of behavior and communication that may be ineffective or destructive.
- Encourage authenticity and accountability in interpersonal relationships.
- Resolve internal conflicts and unfinished business from the past.
Gestalt therapy may be appropriate in different situations, such as:
- Communication and relationship problems: Gestalt therapy can be helpful in addressing problems in interpersonal relationships and improving communication between people, helping to develop skills to authentically express thoughts and emotions.
- Self-awareness and personal growth: For those seeking to explore and better understand their thoughts, emotions and behaviors, and thus develop greater self-awareness and authenticity, Gestalt therapy can be very valuable.
- Anxiety and depression: Gestalt therapy can be beneficial in addressing problems such as anxiety and depression by facilitating awareness of the thoughts and emotions that may contribute to these states and helping to develop new ways of coping.
- Trauma and unresolved issues: Gestalt therapy can be effective in helping people face and process past traumas and experiences that continue to affect their present life by promoting the integration of these experiences and the resolution of internal conflicts.
Existential psychotherapy is an approach to psychotherapy that focuses on addressing the fundamental concerns and existential dilemmas that people face in their daily lives. This approach is based on existential philosophy and the ideas of thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger, among others.
It explores themes such as freedom, responsibility, the search for meaning and purpose in life, loneliness, death and existential anxiety. The main goal of this approach is to help people face and overcome these existential challenges, developing a greater awareness and understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
In existential psychotherapy, the therapist and patient work together to explore and examine the patient’s experiences, beliefs and values, as well as his or her existential concerns and difficulties. Through this process, the patient can develop greater authenticity, make more conscious and meaningful decisions, and live a fuller and more satisfying life.
This type of therapy is recommended in situations such as:
- Existential crises: existential psychotherapy can be helpful for people facing existential crises, such as questioning their life purpose, dealing with uncertainty, and facing the inevitability of death.
- Emotional and mental health issues: Existential psychotherapy can be beneficial in addressing issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, and loss by helping people explore and understand the underlying existential concerns that may be contributing to these problems.
- Life transitions and major changes: Existential psychotherapy can be helpful for those facing life transitions and significant changes, such as retirement, job loss, relationship changes, or health problems, by helping them find new meaning and purpose in these situations.
- Personal development and self-awareness: For those seeking to develop greater self-awareness, authenticity and understanding of their own values, beliefs and life goals, this type of therapy can be especially valuable.
Logotherapy is a therapeutic approach developed by Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. This modality focuses on the search for meaning and purpose in a person’s life, and is based on the idea that finding meaning in life is an essential motivating force in the human experience.
In contrast to other approaches to therapy, logotherapy emphasizes the importance of values, goals and the will to meaning rather than focusing only on psychological conflicts and negative emotions. Logotherapy helps people identify and explore their own values and goals, and find ways to live in accordance with them, even in adverse circumstances.
The therapeutic process in logotherapy involves working with the patient to:
- Discover and clarify personal values and purposes.
- Confront and overcome the obstacles and challenges that prevent living a meaningful life.
- Develop skills and strategies to cope with difficult situations and find meaning in suffering and adversity.
Logotherapy can be useful in various situations, such as:
- Feelings of emptiness or lack of purpose: Logotherapy can be beneficial for people experiencing a lack of meaning in their lives, helping them to discover and redefine their personal values and goals.
- Loss and grief: Speech therapy can be valuable for those facing significant loss or bereavement, helping them to find meaning and purpose in the midst of suffering and loss.
- Coping with chronic illness or physical limitations: Speech therapy can be useful for those struggling with chronic illness or physical limitations by helping them make sense of their circumstances and adapt to new realities.
- Life crises and transitions: Speech therapy may be appropriate for people facing major life crises or transitions, such as changes in relationships, career or health, by facilitating the exploration of new purpose and meaning in these situations.
How can psychotherapy help?
Psychotherapy can be helpful in the treatment of a wide variety of mental health disorders and problems. Some of the disorders in which psychotherapy can be helpful include:
- Anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and separation anxiety disorder.
- Mood disorders: major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia and seasonal affective disorder.
- Eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
- Addiction disorders: substance abuse and behavioral addictions (such as pathological gambling).
- Personality disorders: borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, among others.
- Sleep disorders: insomnia, shift work sleep disorder and restless legs syndrome.
- Impulse control disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intermittent explosive disorder and kleptomania.
- Dissociative disorders: dissociative identity disorder, depersonalization/derealization disorder and dissociative amnesia.
- Somatoform disorders: somatic symptom disorder, conversion disorder and persistent pain disorder.
- Stress and adjustment disorders: adjustment disorder and acute stress reaction.
In addition to these disorders, psychotherapy can also be beneficial in situations of bereavement, relationship problems, work difficulties, family conflicts, self-esteem and personal growth. It is important to note that the effectiveness of psychotherapy varies according to the individual and the nature of the disorder, so it is essential to work with a qualified therapist and tailor treatment to the specific needs of each person.
Psychological Therapy Formats
Psychological therapy can be conducted in different formats, depending on the needs and preferences of the individual or group involved. These formats include:
This modality involves one-on-one sessions between a therapist and a single client. Individual therapy focuses on the specific needs and goals of the individual, and is useful for treating a wide variety of emotional or behavioral disorders and problems.
This approach allows for personalized attention and a safe space for the client to explore their thoughts and feelings with the support of the therapist.
Couples therapy focuses on the relationship between two people, usually in a romantic or marital context. This modality addresses communication problems, conflicts, intimacy issues and other challenges couples face.
The therapist works with the couple to improve their communication and conflict resolution skills, as well as to strengthen their emotional connection and commitment to each other.
Family therapy addresses problems and conflicts within a family or family system, and involves multiple family members in sessions. The focus is on improving communication, understanding and cooperation among family members, and how the family system as a whole can contribute to resolving the problems or challenges faced by each individual.
Group therapy involves a group of people facing similar problems who meet regularly under the guidance of a therapist. These groups may focus on specific issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief, addiction recovery or stress management.
Group therapy allows participants to share their experiences, support each other and learn from each other, while the therapist facilitates the process and provides guidance and support.
Each format of psychotherapy has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of the most appropriate format depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the individual or group. Some people may participate in more than one format of psychotherapy throughout their treatment, depending on what is most helpful and appropriate at each stage of their therapeutic process.
What are the benefits of psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a therapeutic process that can offer numerous benefits for those seeking to improve their emotional, mental and behavioral well-being. Through collaboration with a mental health professional, individuals can address and resolve a wide range of problems, from clinical disorders to everyday difficulties.
Reduced symptoms and improved daily function:
One of the main benefits of psychotherapy is the reduction of symptoms associated with mental health disorders and problems, such as anxiety, depression, stress and others. By addressing these symptoms and learning coping strategies, individuals can improve their functioning in daily life, experiencing a better quality of life.
Developing coping skills
Psychotherapy helps people develop coping skills and stress management strategies to deal with difficult life situations. These skills may include problem solving, assertive communication, emotional regulation, and time management. By learning and applying these skills, people can deal with challenges more effectively and feel more empowered in their lives.
Improving interpersonal relationships
Psychological therapy can address communication problems and conflicts in personal, family and work relationships. Through the therapeutic process, individuals can learn communication, empathy and conflict resolution skills that enable them to build and maintain more satisfying and healthy relationships.
Increased self-awareness and self-knowledge
Therapy provides a safe space to explore one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Through this process of self-exploration, individuals can develop greater self-awareness and self-knowledge, enabling them to better understand their thought and behavior patterns and how they affect their lives and relationships.
Changing negative thought and behavior patterns
One of the key goals of psychotherapy is to help people identify and change negative thinking and behavior patterns that may be contributing to their emotional or mental health problems.
By learning to recognize and modify these patterns, people can experience a decrease in symptoms of disorders such as depression and anxiety, as well as an improvement in their overall well-being.
Psychotherapy provides a safe and confidential space for people to express their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment. The therapist offers emotional support and understanding, which can be critical for people to feel heard and validated in their experiences.
Encouraging personal growth
Psychotherapy not only addresses specific mental health issues, but can also foster personal growth and development. Through the therapeutic process, individuals can learn to accept themselves, set and achieve personal goals, and improve their self-esteem and self-efficacy. This can lead to greater life satisfaction and a greater sense of well-being.
Prevention of future problems
Psychological therapy can provide individuals with the tools and skills necessary to cope with future challenges and prevent the development of additional emotional or mental health problems. By learning to recognize early warning signs and applying appropriate coping strategies, individuals can prevent the escalation of problems and maintain good mental health over time.
Improved quality of life
Overall, psychotherapy can significantly improve the quality of life for those who participate in it. By addressing emotional and mental health issues, improving relationships, and fostering personal growth, people can experience greater satisfaction and well-being in their daily lives.
Adaptability to different needs
Psychotherapy is a flexible and adaptable process that can be customized to meet the specific needs of each individual. With a wide range of therapeutic approaches and formats available, individuals can find the type of therapy that best suits their preferences and goals. This allows for more effective, individual-centered treatment.
Keys to getting the most out of psychotherapy
Psychotherapy can be a valuable tool for improving mental health and emotional well-being, but it is critical that participants are actively involved in the process to get the most benefit. Here are some guidelines or keys to getting the most out of psychotherapy:
- Selecting a suitable therapist: It is essential to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and whom you can trust. The therapeutic relationship is a key factor in the success of psychotherapy, so it is important to take the time to find a professional who suits your needs and preferences.
- Set clear goals: At the beginning of therapy, it is helpful to set clear and realistic goals that you would like to achieve during the process. These goals can act as a guide and help you stay focused on the therapeutic work. Communicate your goals to your therapist so that you can work together to achieve them.
- Be honest and open: Honesty and openness are crucial in psychotherapy. Share your thoughts, emotions, and experiences honestly, even when you find it difficult or uncomfortable. By being honest and open, you allow the therapist to better understand you and provide appropriate help.
- Be willing to face difficult emotions: Psychotherapy often involves facing difficult emotions and memories, which can be uncomfortable or painful. Accepting that you will experience some emotional discomfort is critical to addressing and resolving problems in therapy.
- Actively participate in sessions: Therapy is a collaborative process that requires you to actively engage in sessions. Ask questions, share your thoughts and feelings, and work together with your therapist to develop strategies and solutions. The more you are involved in the process, the more effective the therapy will be.
- Practice learned skills and strategies: Psychotherapy involves learning new skills and strategies to address emotional and mental health problems. It is important to practice and apply these skills in your daily life, even outside of therapy sessions. Regular practice will help you internalize and consolidate what you learn, allowing you to get the maximum benefit from therapy.
- Establish a regular schedule and commit to therapy: Consistency is key in psychotherapy. Establishing a regular schedule for sessions and committing to the process over the long term will allow you to work effectively on your goals and get the maximum benefit from therapy.
- Be patient and give the process time: Psychotherapy is a process that takes time, and changes and improvements may not be immediately evident. Be patient and give the process time, recognizing that change and personal growth often occur gradually.
- Maintain an open and receptive attitude: Therapy may challenge your existing beliefs and perspectives, and it is important to maintain an open and receptive attitude throughout the process. Being willing to consider new ideas, approaches and perspectives can enrich your therapeutic experience and foster personal growth.
How to know if I need counseling
Recognizing the need to seek psychological help is an important step on the path to a healthier and happier life. Often, people can be hesitant to seek support, either because of stigma, fear or simply not being sure if their problems warrant professional intervention. Here are some signs and factors that may indicate the need for psychological help:
Difficulty coping with everyday problems
If you find it difficult to handle daily responsibilities and situations, such as work, personal relationships and household chores, it may be an indicator that you could benefit from psychological help. Therapy can provide you with the tools and support you need to deal with these challenges more effectively.
Significant mood changes
If you experience drastic changes in your mood, such as feeling persistently sad or anxious, or if you have difficulty controlling your emotions, it could be a sign that you need psychological help. A mental health professional can help you identify and address the underlying factors contributing to these mood swings.
If you find yourself avoiding contact with friends and family, or if you have lost interest in activities you once enjoyed, this may be a sign that you could benefit from psychological help. Therapy can help you explore the reasons behind this social withdrawal and develop strategies for reconnecting with others.
Sleep difficulties, such as insomnia or oversleeping, can be symptoms of mental health problems. If you are struggling with sleep problems that affect your quality of life, psychological help may be beneficial.
Appetite and Weight Changes
Significant changes in appetite and weight may be related to emotional or mental health issues. If you experience a noticeable increase or decrease in appetite or weight, it may be helpful to talk to a mental health professional.
Persistent negative thoughts
If you find yourself stuck in negative, self-critical thought patterns, this may be a sign that you need psychological help. Therapy can teach you how to break these thought patterns and develop a more positive, healthy outlook.
Unexplained physical symptoms
Sometimes emotional or mental health problems can manifest themselves in physical symptoms, such as headaches, muscle aches or digestive problems. If you experience physical symptoms that have no clear medical explanation, it may be helpful to explore whether emotional or mental health factors are involved.
Problematic substance use
If you turn to alcohol, drugs or other substances to cope with your emotions or problems, this may be a sign that you need psychological help. A mental health professional can help you address the underlying causes of this behavior and help you develop healthier coping strategies.
Suicidal or self-harm thoughts
If you have thoughts of harming yourself or taking your own life, it is critical that you seek psychological help immediately. These thoughts may be symptoms of serious mental health problems that require professional attention and treatment.
Recent trauma or loss
If you have recently experienced a traumatic event or major loss, such as the death of a loved one, an accident, a serious illness or a romantic breakup, it may be helpful to seek psychological help to process and manage grief and trauma.
If you face persistent conflict or dissatisfaction in your personal, family or work relationships, psychological help can provide you with the tools to improve communication, empathy and conflict resolution.
Anxiety or overwhelming stress
If you feel that stress and anxiety are negatively affecting your life and you find it difficult to manage, psychological help can be beneficial. A mental health professional can teach you stress management strategies and relaxation techniques to cope with anxiety more effectively.
Poor performance at work or school
If you are experiencing difficulty concentrating, meeting work or school responsibilities, or maintaining motivation, this may be a sign that you could benefit from psychological help.
It is important to remember that there is no single situation that determines whether you need psychological help. If you feel that your emotional or mental health problems are negatively affecting your life, you may benefit from therapy, even if you don’t experience all of the symptoms listed above.
Talking to a mental health professional can provide guidance and support to address your concerns and improve your quality of life.
Choosing the right therapist
Finding the right therapist is a crucial aspect of ensuring a successful and beneficial therapeutic experience. Here are some guidelines to help you find the right therapist for your needs and preferences:
Identify your needs
Before you begin your search for a therapist, it is important to be clear about your own therapeutic needs and goals. What problems or concerns would you like to address? What type of therapeutic approach appeals to you? What type of therapeutic relationship do you hope to have? By answering these questions, you will be able to search for therapists who are aligned with your specific needs.
Research different therapeutic modalities
There are numerous therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), client-centered therapy, systemic family therapy, and psychodynamic therapy, to name a few. Each approach has its own techniques and philosophies, and you may find some approaches more appealing or effective than others. Research the different modalities and consider which might be the best option for you.
Ask for references and recommendations
Ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or health professionals who have had positive experiences with therapists. You can also seek referrals through professional associations, online directories and therapist review websites.
Verify the therapist’s credentials and experience
It’s critical to make sure the therapist you choose has the right credentials and experience in the mental health field. Review their educational background, licenses and certifications, and make sure they are in good standing and up to date. Also, consider their experience in treating problems similar to yours.
Consider location and availability
The location of the therapist’s office and his or her availability are important factors to consider. A therapist who is close to your home or workplace and has flexible hours will be more convenient and make it easier to attend sessions regularly.
Assess cultural and gender affinity
You may feel more comfortable with a therapist who shares your cultural background, language, or gender. If these factors are important to you, consider them when looking for a therapist.
Communicate with potential therapists
Many therapists offer free telephone or videoconference consultations so you can get to know them before committing to therapy. Take advantage of these opportunities to ask questions about their therapeutic approach, experience, and how they would approach your specific problems. It is also important to assess how you feel talking to them and whether they seem sympathetic and empathetic.
Trust your intuition
While experience and credentials are important, don’t underestimate the value of your intuition when choosing a therapist. If you feel comfortable and trusting with a therapist during initial consultations, you are more likely to develop a strong and beneficial therapeutic relationship. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts and choose a therapist with whom you feel most emotionally connected.
Consider the cost
The cost of therapy can be an important factor when choosing a therapist. Be sure to ask about session fees and whether the therapist accepts your health insurance or offers a sliding fee scale based on your income. It is important to find a therapist whose services you can afford over the long term.
Be willing to change therapists if necessary
Sometimes, after beginning therapy, you may find that you don’t feel completely satisfied with the therapist you have chosen. Don’t be afraid to change therapists if you feel you are not making progress or if you don’t feel supported and understood. It is essential that you feel comfortable and trusting with your therapist to get the maximum benefit from therapy.
Consult with other health professionals
If you already have a primary care physician, psychiatrist or other health professional with whom you feel comfortable, consider asking them for recommendations. They may be able to suggest therapists who have worked with other patients and are familiar with your medical history and needs.