December 1, 2023

What Kind Of Therapist do I Need?

What Kind of Therapist Do I Need

Taking the plunge into therapy is a commendable step towards enhancing your mental health. Yet, once that decision is made, another question arises: “What kind of therapist do I need?”, “What are the types of therapists?”, “How do I find the right therapist?”, “What are the different types of therapy?” You’re certainly not alone in this quest. We’re dedicated to assisting you in navigating these questions, ensuring you align with the therapist best suited for your needs.

Dive into the comprehensive guide below. We’ll start with the fundamental aspects of therapy, introducing you to the various mental health practitioners. Then, we’ll venture into the nuances of distinct therapy types. Though navigating your mental health can be intricate, finding your ideal therapist doesn’t have to be.

Understanding Therapy: Its Importance and Debunking Common Myths

So, you’ve heard about therapy, but what does it truly entail? In essence, when we discuss therapy, we’re delving into the realm of psychotherapy. This involves one-on-one interventions that manage mental health challenges, disorders, and overall emotional well-being. While many approach therapists due to specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or addiction, therapy is a versatile tool available for all. From managing family dynamics, addressing grief, navigating breakups, to grappling with work-related stress or existential thoughts, therapy offers solutions for myriad life situations.

Consider this: 1 in 5 of U.S. adults face a mental health challenges annually. Yet, many steer clear from therapy due to prevalent myths. It’s time we debunk them:

  1. Only the “Insane” Need Therapy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In today’s era, characterized by technological overreliance and heightened societal isolation, therapy serves as an essential avenue for external insights and support.
  2. Only Those with Mental Issues Need Therapy: Therapy isn’t exclusive to those with mental health issues. It’s a valuable resource when dealing with various life challenges—be it relocation, job transitions, embracing parenthood, or fostering personal growth.
  3. Therapy = Strength, Not Weakness: Contrary to this notion, therapy embodies strength. Delving into one’s emotions and dissecting complex thoughts is no easy feat. Embracing therapy signifies resilience and courage.
  4. Therapists Only Ask, “How Does That Make You Feel?” : Hollywood might love this cliché, but reality paints a different picture. Genuine therapists cultivate a dynamic bond, utilizing methodologies honed over extensive training. They tailor their strategies to resonate with individual clients.

In essence, while many turn to therapy to address mental health challenges, countless others seek its guidance for clarity in life’s intricate mazes. Both motivations are not only valid but are a testament to the multifaceted benefits therapists provide.

The Benefits of Therapy: Why It’s for Everyone

At first glance, therapy may seem designed primarily for those facing profound mental health challenges. Yet, its benefits extend much further, catering to a myriad of life’s complexities.

While therapy undoubtedly serves as a vital resource for those navigating the stormy waters of conditions like depression or anxiety, its impact is felt in myriad other areas too. Be it sailing through the aftermath of a relationship ending, mitigating job-related stress, or crafting a clear blueprint of personal ambitions, therapy has a role to play.

If you’re leaning towards insurance to offset your therapy expenses, it’s of paramount importance to decipher how many sessions your insurance is inclined to cover. Recognizing that enduring mental health conditions might be green lighted for prolonged sessions, transitional life events may be on a shorter leash. Having this insight not only pre-empts potential hurdles but also fine-tunes your therapeutic trajectory to be goal-aligned.

Embracing therapy even during life’s more tranquil moments is akin to arming oneself against unforeseen emotional upheavals, making it a preventive measure in emotional wellness.

The repercussions of unrestrained stress are profound and worrisome. With research spotlighting its links to cardiac diseases and a whopping 75% of medical consultations having stress-related undertones, the call to action becomes clear. Therapy, in this context, emerges as a reservoir of tools and coping mechanisms to navigate these stressors.

With your therapeutic aspirations in clear sight, the next logical progression is to align with a therapist whose expertise resonates with your needs. To assist, here’s a glimpse into some notable therapeutic modalities.

Types of Therapists

The landscape of mental health care is vast, characterized by an array of specialized professionals, each equipped to cater to specific aspects of mental well-being. At the Thriving Center, we take pride in housing a comprehensive range of these experts, ensuring holistic care for our clients. Let’s delve into understanding the roles of these dedicated professionals and how they collectively work towards your mental health journey.

Psychologist (Ph.D. or Psy.D)

Holding advanced degrees like Ph.D. or Psy.D, psychologists are adept at understanding the nuances of human behavior and cognition. They employ various therapeutic techniques to help individuals navigate mental and emotional challenges. Counseling psychologists often address day-to-day life struggles, while clinical psychologists might delve deeper into specific mental conditions. Regardless of their specialization, all psychologists aim to provide a nurturing space for understanding and healing.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

LMFTs are trained to view behavioral patterns through the prism of familial and social interactions. With master’s degrees in specialized fields like counseling or marriage and family therapy, they offer insights into interpersonal dynamics and help resolve relationship intricacies.

Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LPC ,LPCC, LMHC)

LPCs and LMHCs, equipped with a Master’s in Counseling and rigorous state certification, are adept at guiding individuals towards a harmonious relationship with their emotions. These skilled professionals not only help bolster mental health but also provide clients with strategies to foster resilience and heightened self-awareness.ons. They equip clients with strategies to foster mental resilience and self-awareness.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW, LSW)

LCSWs, with their Master’s in social work and extensive training, cater to a wide spectrum of needs. From community-based roles to private practices, they offer varied care, focusing on the client’s environmental and personal challenges.

Psychiatrist (M.D., DO, RN)

As medical doctors with either an MD or DO degree, psychiatrists not only offer psychotherapy but also have the expertise to prescribe medications. What sets the approach at Thriving Center apart is the collaborative ethos. Our psychiatrists work hand-in-hand with all our therapists, ensuring an integrated approach for optimal patient care.

As you dive deeper into the realm of mental health, understanding the various professional roles can guide your decision-making. Each therapist, irrespective of their specialization, brings a unique set of techniques to the table, ensuring a tailored approach to cater to individual needs.

With such a diverse assembly of professionals, the Thriving Center is committed to offering comprehensive and tailored care, ensuring each client’s unique needs are met and nurtured.

Types of Therapy: Exploring Common Therapy Modalities

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT accentuates psychological adaptability and the ethos of acceptance, aiding individuals in forging a harmonious relationship with their thoughts.

  • Consider ACT if: You’re striving for mental agility and a balanced acceptance of your experiences.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a short-term approach that revolves around modifying thought patterns to influence behavior positively. It’s an umbrella term which includes methods like Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

  • Consider CBT if: You’re grappling with anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, addiction, or OCD.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

A subset of CBT, DBT emphasizes problem-solving and acceptance techniques.

  • Consider DBT if: You’ve found limited success with other therapies and face issues like self-harm, borderline personality disorder, or eating disorders.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

A unique therapy that addresses symptoms of PTSD and trauma by processing distressing memories.

  • Consider EMDR if: You’re managing trauma-induced anxiety.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

An offshoot of CBT, MBCT uses mindfulness practices to help patients identify and distance themselves from negative thought patterns.

  • Consider MBCT if: You’re facing recurring depression or seeking tools to cope with various mental health challenges.


The classic “talk therapy” method, psychoanalysis delves deep into one’s unconscious to uncover and address underlying problems.

  • Consider Psychoanalysis if: You wish to delve deeper into anxiety or self-esteem concerns.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Drawing from psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy is about understanding feelings, beliefs, and past experiences to identify and alter persistent patterns in behavior.

  • Consider Psychodynamic Therapy if: You feel generally okay but want to understand how past events influence your present.

Additional Therapy Modalities Include:

  • Biofeedback: Uses electronic monitoring to convey info about physiological processes.
  • Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT): Boosts self-compassion to tackle negative thought patterns.
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): Enhances emotional intelligence and relational interactions.
  • Existential Therapy: Addresses broad existential themes like mortality and freedom.
  • Exposure Therapy: Aims at desensitizing an individual to traumatic events or phobias.
  • Family Systems: Focuses on familial relationships and dynamics.
  • Gottman Method: A structured approach to couples’ therapy.
  • Hypnotherapy: Utilizes hypnosis to induce therapeutic relaxation.
  • Mindfulness: Encourages a focus on the present moment.
  • Motivational Interviewing: Bolsters intrinsic motivation to induce behavioral changes.
  • Somatic Experiencing: Addresses trauma by focusing on bodily sensations.
  • Trauma-Focused CBT: Targets emotional responses to trauma.
  • Virtual Reality Therapy: Uses VR for exposure therapy.

While many therapists incorporate a blend of techniques, being informed about these modalities can guide you in identifying what resonates most with your therapeutic journey.

Different Kinds of Therapy Settings

Individual Therapy: The quintessential therapy model, individual sessions focus solely on the client and their unique challenges. At Two Chairs, we majorly adopt this approach, ensuring a dedicated one-on-one environment.

Couples Therapy: Breaking free from stigmas, couples therapy isn’t just a rescue rope for rocky relationships. It’s a proactive tool, aiding couples in navigating shifts, from role reversals like changing breadwinners to transitions like parenthood.

Family Therapy: Beyond individual needs, family therapy delves into the dynamics of familial ties, be it between siblings, parent-child relationships, or extended family. Professionals in this domain might be recognized as marriage and family therapists.

Group Therapy: Far from being restricted to substance abuse or addiction topics, group therapy serves as a platform for shared experiences. Whether it’s trauma, grief, physical abuse aftermaths, or stress and anxiety management, group therapy provides communal support.

Event-specific Therapy: Life, with its twists and turns, may require specialized therapeutic care. Some therapists offer their expertise for distinct life events – be it medical challenges, childbirth, marital transitions like divorce, losses, or even issues like infertility and impotence.

Online vs In-person: The post-pandemic world has reshaped therapeutic interfaces. While traditional in-person sessions have their merits, teletherapy—via phone or video—has emerged as a viable option. At Thriving Center, we appreciate the distinctiveness of every individual. That’s why we present a hybrid care model, allowing you to choose between in-person sessions, virtual meetings, or a blend of both to suit your comfort.

Remember, the therapy setting or modality is as unique as the individual seeking it. Find what resonates with you and your circumstances to ensure the most fruitful therapeutic journey.

How To Find the Right Therapist

Navigating the therapeutic landscape can be challenging, but many have found success with the following avenues:

‍1) Consulting Friends and Family.

While the notion of asking loved ones for therapist referrals might feel awkward, there could be individuals you’re at ease discussing this with. If someone recommends their therapist and it feels too close for comfort, that therapist can often provide alternate suggestions tailored to your needs.

‍2) Engaging with Your Insurance Provider.

Insurance companies typically maintain a curated list of affiliated therapists. By specifying your requirements, such as therapy type or vicinity to your residence or workplace, they can offer a more refined list. Most therapists maintain an online profile or website, providing insight into their expertise and approach.

3) Harnessing the Power of the Internet.

The digital revolution has immensely broadened the spectrum of accessible therapeutic services. From online sessions to text-based counseling, there’s a myriad of virtual avenues to explore.

4) Connecting with Local Universities.

Institutions of higher education often house a robust mental health division, comprising both experienced counselors and students in training. It’s essential to remember that therapy’s effectiveness often hinges on the rapport and comfort shared between client and therapist, not necessarily their years in practice.

‍5) Exploring Dedicated Therapy Directories

Platforms such as Psychology Today and Zocdoc are treasure troves of therapist listings. You can fine-tune your search based on various parameters like location, specialty, therapeutic approach, and more, ensuring a more personalized match.

6) Tapping into the Therapeutic Community

If you’ve tried the above resources and found therapists who might not align perfectly with logistics like distance or insurance coverage, always ask them for referrals. The therapeutic community is well-networked, and they might steer you towards someone who perfectly matches your “nearby” and “within insurance coverage” criteria.

Despite these resources, finding the right therapist can be a taxing endeavor. That’s where Thriving Center comes into the picture. We’re here to alleviate that burden and guide you on your journey to mental well-being.

Your inaugural step with Thriving Center is scheduling a matching call with our dedicated Care Coordinators. This appointment is a conduit to discussing your therapeutic needs and preferences. Leveraging their deep expertise, the Care Coordinator will recommend a therapist harmoniously aligned with your unique requirements.

What Kind of Therapist Do I Need: How Thriving Center Can Help

This guide has provided you with essential knowledge to navigate the diverse field of therapy, showcasing the wide range of skilled mental health professionals available to you. Remember, your therapy needs are unique; whether it’s the location or a therapist’s specific expertise that matters most to you, finding the right match is key to a meaningful therapy journey.

At Thriving Center, we value therapeutic relationships built on understanding and respect. We are dedicated to connecting you with a therapist who meets your individual needs and aids in your path to a brighter future. Schedule a matching session with our Care Coordinators to begin your therapeutic journey.

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