What type of therapy do I need?

Seeking therapy is a courageous step toward improving your mental health and overall well-being. However, with the multitude of therapy options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which type of therapy and therapist is best suited for your needs. 

Which type of therapist should you choose?

The field of mental health offers a wide range of professionals with distinct training and specialties. As you search for a therapist, you may have noticed that there are a few different options. It can be confusing when they all seem to have different letters after their name, and you don't know what they mean! To add more confusion, you’ll notice that some of them are referred to as “Doctor” and some are not. Each type of mental health professional brings unique qualifications and approaches to therapy. If you’d like to know more about the difference between them and learn which one might be best for you, check out this previous post.

Exploring common types of therapy:

As you look at potential therapists, you’ll also notice that they list different specialties and types of therapy on their profiles. Here are some common types you might see and how they might be able to help you:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used and evidence-based therapy that focuses on identifying and modifying negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to emotional distress. It can help you develop healthier coping strategies, challenge problematic thinking patterns, and replace harmful behaviors with healthier ones.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is specifically designed to help individuals who struggle with emotional dysregulation. It combines elements of CBT with mindfulness techniques to enhance emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and self-acceptance.

Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic approach developed by Sigmund Freud that delves into unconscious processes, childhood experiences, and the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. Its purpose is to bring repressed thoughts and conflicts to conscious awareness, promoting insight and helping you better understand your motivations and behavior.

Psychodynamic Therapy: Similar to psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy explores unconscious processes and early life experiences. However, it is typically more time-limited and focuses on addressing specific issues and patterns of behavior, aiming to create positive change in the present.

Humanistic Therapy: Humanistic therapy emphasizes personal growth, self-actualization, and self-awareness. Therapists provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment, allowing individuals to explore their feelings, values, and goals. Person-centered therapy, a well-known approach within humanistic therapy, emphasizes empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive regard.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is an evidence-based therapy primarily used to treat trauma-related disorders. It involves eye movements or other bilateral stimulation techniques to help process distressing memories and alleviate associated symptoms, essentially “reprogramming” your reaction to past trauma.

Mindfulness-based therapy: This is an approach that incorporates the practice of mindfulness into the therapeutic process. It combines elements of mindfulness meditation and traditional psychotherapy techniques to promote self-awareness, emotional regulation, and psychological well-being.

There are many more therapeutic modalities. Every approach caters to specific needs and preferences, so you’ll need to discuss which one might be best for you with potential therapists.

Choosing the best therapist for you

Many therapists are well-versed in multiple types of therapy and will be able to help you choose the best one for your needs and goals. Regardless of the particular specialties offered, the most important factor in your search for a therapist is finding someone who you feel comfortable with. The best therapist in the world can’t help you if you don’t feel like you can open up to them! Many therapists offer a free consultation call, so have a conversation with any therapist you are considering to gauge whether they might be a good fit for you.

At Medens Health, we take care to match you with the therapist who is best suited to be your partner in your mental wellness journey. To get started, you’ll have a virtual meeting with our Intake Manager, where you’ll discuss your needs and goals for therapy, as well as any preferences you may have for a provider. With a diverse group of 40+ providers, we’re sure to have a good fit for you! We offer both in-person and virtual appointments. Contact us by phone or text at (833) 624-5400, or fill out this quick form to get started!


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.