You may need to find a counselor just to talk, or you may want a psychiatrist to prescribe mental health medication. Different therapist types have different services. For example, not all therapists can prescribe drugs.
For instance, if you need medication for depression, you may need a psychologist or a psychologist who works in tandem with your doctor. Hourly rates for psychiatrists are more expensive than psychologists who also have higher rates than other therapists.
Types of therapists include:
- Psychiatrist, who are medical doctors that can prescribe medication.
- Psychologists, who have a Ph.D. but cannot prescribe medication.
- Licensed counselor, who has state certification but cannot prescribe medication.
- Licensed clinical social worker, who has a master’s degree and provides therapy that focuses on the person and their environment.
From the list of mental health professions from your insurer, narrow down choices by specialty, gender preference, and type of therapy. For example, you may want someone who specializes in family issues, depression, or sexual abuse. You may also feel more comfortable talking about specific topics with someone of the same or opposite sex.
Type of therapies can range from psychoanalysis (talk therapy) up to electroshock therapy. Some common types of therapies include the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) explores the relationship between your thoughts and actions to alter unhealthy patterns from causing self-destructive behavior.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is similar to CBT but focuses on balancing change and acceptance.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) uses repetitive eye movements to replace negative thoughts with positive reactions.
- Exposure therapy is a type of CBT that gradually increases your interaction with your fear or trigger.
- Interpersonal therapy works with your relationships and evaluates social interactions to learn strategies for positive connections.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy looks into negative past experiences and patterns to resolve them.
- Therapy pets are animals used to provide comfort, structure, and companionship.
You may need to contact the provider to find out what kind of therapy they provide. Ask if they have experience treating patients with similar issues and the types of treatments they utilize.
If you are interested in having remote therapy sessions, ask if they have telehealth services. Likewise, ask about the therapist’s availability. When will they be available each week or once a month?
The best way to find a therapist is to do research. But the real test is your first session. Finding a good therapist can require trial and error. The relationship between counselors and patients is intimate. You may meet with several professionals before meeting a great match.