How to Know What Type of Therapist You Should See

therapist taking notes in a session

The hardest struggles to go through are the ones you face alone. It doesn't matter whether you're experiencing a heartbreak, the death of a loved one, or simply feeling overwhelmed by everything in your life - you need to talk to someone.

But sometimes, it's hard to express your thoughts to close friends and family It's important to recognize those who care about you will always be willing to listen. However, there is an alternative worth considering: therapy.

Therapy allows you to get everything off your chest privately. Plus, talking to someone with a deep knowledge of how the mind works helps you start to heal by providing a better understanding of your situation.

You just need to figure out the right type of therapist for you.

Use the following guide to help you decide if therapy is what you need right now, and which type of therapy you should choose.

5 Signs You Need to Go to Therapy

Maybe you've experienced something like this before, but not to this extent. Maybe you have no idea what's going on with you lately and you figure you can wait out the slump you've fallen into.

The thing is, emotions aren't always that simple. There are certain curveballs life throws us that we can't handle alone. When one of those comes your way, the best thing to do is go to therapy.

Here are some signs therapy is the answer for what you're going through.

1. You've Gone Through Something Tragic

Death is part of life, but that doesn't mean it's easy to deal with.

The same thing goes for recovering from a life-changing accident or finding out you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness. These are things that happen by chance. You can't control them or change the situation overnight, but you can find professional guidance to help see you through.

Put simply, therapy helps you cope. It allows you to work through your feelings and let things go. Little by little, you stop feeling as weighed down as you did when tragedy first knocked on your door, and you're more able to go out into the world feeling confident and put-together.

2. Everything Feels Intense

It doesn't always take something tragic to make you sensitive to absolutely everything. If you're feeling hyper-aware or on-edge lately, it may be time to go see a therapist. This is especially true if you're getting migraines all the time or feeling too anxious to function.

Not only will therapy help you get back to your normal state of being, but it will help you recognize what flipped a switch in the first place. This level of understanding is incredibly valuable. It shows you the light at the end of the tunnel and keeps you from falling back into such an exhausting state of mind.

3. You Feel Disconnected from Life

There's feeling too much, and then there's feeling nothing at all. Are you having trouble getting out of bed every day? Do the things you used to love not bring as much joy to you anymore - if at all?

These are signs of depression. Depression may happen to you for a number of reasons, but therapy is one thing that is sure to help you heal.

With the understanding and compassion of a medical professional, you can start feeling better about yourself and improving your mindset little by little. Therapy will show you how good your life really is despite the lies depression tells you.

4. You're Addicted to Something

Depression has a way of making people fall back into its cycle. It's common for those who have had it once to have it again. Still, this is nothing like the ups and downs of addiction.

If you've been battling addiction for years, or you've recently fallen into its trap, you need to get out as soon as possible. Therapy can help you do that.

5. Your Romantic Life Needs Healing

What if it's not just you that needs healing, but you and your spouse? You may need family therapy if the person you fell in love with is the same individual you find yourself arguing with all the time and feeling distant from, or if someone cheated.

Marriage isn't always what you expect it to be, but that doesn't mean it has to end. See if the spark the two of you originally had is still there. Go to therapy, talk through your problems, and come to a sound decision together rather than screaming and fighting your way through whatever is going on.

Understanding Different Therapy Styles

If one of the situations above sounds like your life story right now, it's time to take the narrative into your own hands. You can turn things around by going to therapy, but you have to know what kind of therapy you need.

Check out the common types of therapy listed below to make the best choice.


The term "psychotherapy" is actually an overarching word with various meanings. It basically means the "traditional" therapy people think about. You know, the one where you sit on a couch and talk about your life, and the therapist asks you how you feel about something or what it's teaching you.

The thing is, psychotherapy can apply to anything. You can seek this form of therapist out when you need help getting over a heartbreak, finding the motivation to do your job again, or just to shake whatever it is that's troubling you.

A psychotherapist usually calls themselves a "generalist" because they use a handful of different types of therapy to asses your situation and come to a conclusion.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is still a "general" practice, but it goes deeper than traditional psychotherapy does. In this therapy style, the professional you're speaking to shows you how to recognize and improve the way you talk to yourself.

In other words, they give you the tools to identify the unconscious side of your mind. This level of self-awareness helps you notice how deep emotions and motivations can lead to certain thoughts and actions. Psychodynamic psychotherapy takes you to the root of your problems and helps you first understand then overcome them.

Interpersonal Therapy

There's improving how you talk to yourself, and then there's noticing how the words you say can connect or distance you from others. The latter is what interpersonal therapy is all about.

Interpersonal therapy is what you need if you're having trouble relating to your partner, working well with someone at work, or even mending the relationship with someone you haven't spoken to in years. It's a process of figuring out where the disconnect started and what emotions this situation has brought up.

From there, a therapist provides you with steps you can take to start communicating better and therefore fixing the relationship. Keep in mind the other person will have to do their part too, but you can't just sit out and point fingers without putting in your half of the effort.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a close look at the way you think and how your thoughts influence your actions. This can be applied to your relationships, your personal motivation and energy levels, and dealing with intense emotions like grief or regret.

Either way, it's all about noticing your brain's thought patterns and using them to your advantage. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you turn your life around by changing your perspective.

Art Therapy, Emotional Therapy, and More

In addition to the therapy styles mentioned above, you may want to consider something like art therapy, emotional therapy, or even past life regression therapy.

Art therapy can be done by listening to music or creating some form of art yourself. It's kind of like a backdoor into the mind - it uses all kinds of different expressions to show you how you really feel about something. Emotional therapy is all about attachment and making/maintaining healthy relationships with others.

Past life regression therapy opens a whole other can of worms. It teaches you about yourself in this life through the understanding of previous ones. You can click to learn more about what this means and how it works.

As beneficial as it is to understand all the approaches to therapy there are, it's more important to find the one that works best for you. Take your time to seriously consider the options mentioned above, or even explore other ones not listed here.

The more patient you are in this part of the therapy process, the better your overall outcome will be.

Take Back Your Life with the Right Type of Therapist for You

Therapy is becoming less and less taboo to talk about and increasingly important to consider as an option. There are millions of Americans already making use of therapy and other healthy coping mechanisms. Why shouldn't you be one of them?

All it takes is finding the right type of therapist to help you better understand yourself. From there, all sorts of amazing things are possible. You owe it to yourself to experience what they are.

If the therapy you need involves you and another person finding a therapist together, click here to learn more about marriage counseling and family therapy.


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