Here’s how to choose a therapist and therapy best for you
Discover the key to finding your perfect therapist with our comprehensive guide! Dive into the world of therapy and gain valuable insights on choosing the right therapist for your unique needs.
Here’s how to choose a therapist and therapy best for you
One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
While drug treatments are widely used and can be effective, they sometimes come with troubling side-effects such as weight gain, headaches, and fatigue.
Talking therapies can be just as effective for a number of mental health conditions including anxiety and depression, or can be a good add-on therapy for those who are finding success with medications.
And they have the added benefit of tackling any underlying reasons why the problem arose in the first place.
So, what are the options for treatment? How do they work? How to choose a therapist that can help you?
How to choose a therapist?
First, find a therapist you click with
Cognitive behavior therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy is another popular treatment that can be effective across a wide range of situations and problems.
Acceptance and commitment therapy specifically targets the person’s tendency to avoid things and helps them develop greater psychological flexibility so they can pursue areas of value and live meaningful lives.
While CBT tries to change thinking and behavior, acceptance and commitment therapy introduces the intriguing idea of people not changing their thoughts and behaviors but, rather, achieving a state of mind where they’re able to notice the problematic thoughts, images, feelings, or behaviors but not be overwhelmed or consumed by them. That’s the “acceptance” part.
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Acceptance and commitment therapy also encourages people to identify values that are important to them and figure out ways their day-to-day life can reflect these values. That’s the commitment part.
Acceptance and commitment therapy psychologists have a range of novel and engaging activities at their disposal. An acceptance and commitment therapy psychologist might help a person visualize placing their thoughts on leaves floating down a stream. They can then watch their thoughts float by and disappear down the stream.
Behavioral activation was initially developed for the treatment of depression but has since been used more widely. It involves identifying and scheduling activities that promote enjoyment or reduce stress.
Behavioral activation helps people identify things in their environment that are contributing to the problem and the things that could really help, along with the behaviors that are associated with each of those things.
The focus of behavioral activation is on helping people develop specific goals and achievable plans that activate rewarding behaviors.
Behavioral activation can involve similar activities to CBT, with more of an emphasis on the behaviors than the thoughts. Someone engaging with a behavioral activation psychologist, for example, might spend time monitoring the activities they do throughout the day and rating each in terms of the impact it has on their mood.
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Method of levels
Method of levels is a newer and less well-known treatment but is gaining increasing interest. It focuses on the control that a person has in their life, how it was interrupted, and how it can be restored.
Method of levels has similarities with each of the other therapies but uses the conversation that develops in therapy, based on the individual’s perspective of their problems, as the main “technique.”
This type of therapy responds to how a person is functioning “right now” in the session as they’re talking to the psychologist.
The topic of any session is determined by the person with the problem. The psychologist focuses on the distress associated with any particular pattern of symptoms rather than the symptoms themselves.
If a person reported, for example, being highly anxious in social situations and constantly worrying about what other people were thinking of them, the psychologist would be interested in exploring what bothered the person about feeling that way, what it was interfering with, and what it was stopping them from doing.
Through these conversations, the psychologist helps people generate their own solutions to their problems rather than providing advice and guidance from their perspective.
The method of levels recognizes the variability in how long it takes for people to resolve psychological and social problems and that psychological change often follows a nonlinear, unpredictable course, so it uses a patient-led approach to appointment scheduling rather than neat schedules.
What if therapy is not working?
There are many more treatments available than those listed above, and many psychologists, such as Suboxone doctors online, will be skilled in more than one treatment or may even combine different treatment types.
If you can find someone you relate to, who is interested in monitoring your progress on a regular basis, and who can work flexibly and responsively with you about the things you’re troubled by, it’s likely you’ll find the relief you are looking for.
But there are no guarantees with therapy. Treatment is simply a resource that people can use to help make sense of things that previously seemed senseless and to restore contentment, satisfaction, and the feeling that you’re living a valued life. It’s the people who make treatments work.
If you don’t seem to be getting the desired results, it could be time to consider seeing someone else or trying a different type of therapy.
"How to choose a therapist and therapy best for you," was published by The Conversation, a network of not-for-profit media outlets that publish news stories written by academics and researchers.