Choosing the Right Therapy for Your Mental and Emotional Health: A Comprehensive Overview

Written by: Angela Derrick, Ph.D. & Susan McClanahan, Ph.D.

Date Posted: April 25, 2023 8:32 am

Choosing the Right Therapy for Your Mental and Emotional Health: A Comprehensive Overview

Choosing the Right Therapy for Your Mental and Emotional Health: A Comprehensive Overview

Mental and emotional health are essential components of overall well-being.  Therefore, just like with physical health, there may come a time when you need professional support to manage your mental and emotional health. Therapy is valuable for individuals struggling with various issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues, and adjustment to life events. But with so many different types of therapy and therapists available, how do you choose the right one? In this comprehensive overview, we’ll explore the various types of therapy and review what to consider when selecting a therapist.

Understanding Therapy

Before we delve into choosing the right therapy and therapist for you, it’s essential to understand what therapy is and how it can benefit you. Therapy is often talk therapy, a form of treatment that focuses on improving your mental and emotional well-being. It involves talking with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or counselor, to explore and address the issues that are affecting you. Therapy can be short-term or long-term, and it can be individual, group, or family-based.

Types of Therapy

Many different types of therapy are available, and each has its unique approach and benefits. Here are some of the most common types of therapy:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It’s often used to treat anxiety and depression.
  2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – DBT is a type of therapy that focuses on mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. It’s often used to treat borderline personality disorder, emotional dysregulation, and mood disorders.
  3. Psychodynamic Therapy – Psychodynamic therapy focuses on exploring unconscious thoughts and emotions contributing to your mental health issues. It’s often used to treat longstanding interpersonal issues and relational concerns which may underly other diagnoses.
  4. Humanistic Therapy – Humanistic therapy is a client-centered approach emphasizing personal growth and self-actualization. It’s often used to treat depression and anxiety.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Therapist

Choosing the right therapist is crucial to the success of your therapy journey. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a therapist:

  1. Qualifications – Look for a licensed therapist with the appropriate education and training in the type of therapy you need.
  2. Personal Compatibility – You want to work with a therapist who you feel comfortable with and who understands your unique needs and goals.
  3. Availability – Consider the therapist’s availability and whether their schedule aligns with yours.
  4. Cost: Therapy can be expensive, so consider your budget and whether your insurance covers the needed therapy.
Collaborative Work

Collaborative Work

It’s important to remember that therapy is a collaborative process. Your therapist is there to work with you, support you, and guide you through your journey toward better mental and emotional health.

It’s also important to note that therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person may not work for another, and it’s okay to try out different therapists and types of therapy until you find the right fit for you. So, finding a therapist who listens to your concerns, provides a safe and supportive environment, and encourages your growth and progress is essential.

Springsource Psychological Center, established in 2020, is a private practice for individuals, couples, families, and adolescents in the Chicago area. Their team of clinicians, led by two Ph.D. clinical psychologists on faculty at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, listen to your concerns and work with you to determine the best course of treatment to help you meet your goals.  Contact them today at 224-202-6260, or by filling out their Contact form at and get started today!

At Springsource, we believe that there are many paths to healing. Our goal is always to help the individual get back on their feet to lead a fulfilling life free from stigma and shame while improving their quality of life.

~ Springsource Psychological Center

FAQs for Choosing the Right Therapy for Your Mental and Emotional Health: A Comprehensive Overview 

Q: How long does therapy last? 

A: The length of therapy depends on the individual and the issues they’re dealing with. Therapy can be short-term or long-term, ranging from weekly to monthly.

Q: What should I expect during my first therapy session? 

A: During your first therapy session, your therapist will likely ask you questions about your background, your current concerns, and your goals for therapy.

Q: How do I know if therapy is working for me? 

A: You may notice mood, behavior, or relationship improvements. Communicating with your therapist regularly and discussing your concerns is essential.

Q: Can therapy be done online or over the phone?

A: Many therapists offer online or phone sessions, making therapy more accessible and convenient for some individuals.

Q: How often should I attend therapy sessions?

A: The frequency of therapy sessions varies depending on the individual’s needs and the therapist’s recommendations. Sessions typically occur weekly or bi-weekly.

Q: Is it normal to feel nervous before starting therapy?

A: Yes, it’s common to feel nervous or anxious before starting therapy, as it involves discussing personal and sensitive topics.

Q: Can I switch therapists if I don’t feel comfortable with my current one?

A: Finding a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and safe is essential. If you’re unsatisfied with your current therapist, searching for a better fit is okay.

Q: How do I know which type of therapy is best for me?

A: You can research different therapy types or consult with a mental health professional who can help determine the best approach based on your needs and concerns.

Q: Can therapy be helpful for people without a diagnosed mental health issue? 

A: Yes, therapy can benefit individuals dealing with life stressors, relationship issues, personal growth, and self-improvement, even without a specific diagnosis.

Q: How can I prepare for my first therapy session?

A: Before your first session, take some time to reflect on your concerns, goals, and any questions you may have. You can also gather any relevant documents or information that may be helpful to share with your therapist.

Q: Is everything I share with my therapist confidential?

A: Generally, therapists are bound by confidentiality, meaning they cannot disclose information about you without your consent. However, there are some exceptions, such as when there is a risk of harm to yourself or others.

Q: How do I handle feelings of shame or stigma around seeking therapy?

A: Remember that seeking therapy is a sign of strength and self-care. It’s essential to prioritize your mental health; seeking help is a normal and healthy part of that process. Talk to supportive friends, family members, or online communities if you need reassurance or encouragement.


Realize it’s okay to prioritize your needs and put your mental health first. Seeking therapy is a brave and courageous step towards caring for yourself and your mental health. Choosing the right therapy and therapist for your mental and emotional health can be daunting. 

However, by understanding the different types of therapy available, considering factors such as qualifications, personal compatibility, availability, and cost, and remembering that therapy is a collaborative process, you can make an informed decision that supports your mental and emotional well-being. Finally, remember to prioritize your needs and care for yourself as you journey towards better mental health. 

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Importance of therapy: Therapy is essential for managing mental and emotional health issues.
  • Types of therapy: Common types include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Humanistic Therapy.
  • Factors to consider when choosing a therapist: Qualifications, personal compatibility, availability, and cost.
  • Therapy as a collaborative process: Work with a therapist who listens, provides a safe environment, and encourages growth.
  • Length and effectiveness of therapy: Therapy can be short-term or long-term, and it’s important to communicate with your therapist to gauge progress.