There are two primary types of therapy: medication and talk.
Treatment typically involves working with a healthcare provider who manages the medication. Medication therapy is often used along with talk therapy.
Talk therapies, also known as counseling or psychotherapy, treat psychological or emotional problems through verbal communication. Although they are based on psychological theories, talk therapies also fulfill a very basic human need to share problems and connect with others.
Some types of counseling may be better suited to your particular issues, as well as your personality, time, and budget. Listed below are some of the most common types; however, keep in mind that most therapists tend to use a combination of one or more approaches.
There are many options to find a qualified provider, such as:
What should you expect when you go to your appointment? During the first session, therapists should be able to:
In some cases, finding the right therapist takes time. You should feel comfortable with the therapist and feel that the person understands you. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if you would like to work with this therapist or continue looking for someone who is a better fit for you.
American Counseling Association
Mental Health America
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association
About psychoanalysis. American Psychoanalytic Association website. Available at: http://apsa.org/About_Psychoanalysis.asp. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Code of ethics. American Mental Health Counselors Association website. Available at: http://www.amhca.org/about/codeia.aspx. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Psychosocial treatments. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Treatments_and_Supports&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=10510. Updated July 2012. Accessed March 12, 2014.
How to find help through seeing a psychologist. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/therapy.aspx. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Marriage and family therapists: the friendly mental health professionals. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website. Available at: http://www.aamft.org/imis15/content/consumer_updates/Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Mental health medications. National Institutes of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/complete-index.shtml/index.shtml. Updated 2008. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Psychotherapy: Understanding group therapy. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/group-therapy.aspx. Accessed March 12. 2014.
What to expect from therapy. Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies website. Available at: http://www.abct.org/docs/Members/FactSheets/WHAT%20TO%20EXPECT%20FROM%20THERAPY%200707.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2014.
Last reviewed March 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.