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by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Considering Counseling

IMAGE Many people seek counseling for mental health problems each year. It can help us cope with things like change, depression, loss, and anxiety.

Many Types to Choose From

Counseling treats mental health problems by talking through them. The type that works for you may be based on things like your problem, time, and budget. One of more of these types are often used:
  • Psychoanalysis looks at the feelings you are holding on to and how they impact you now. It may be helpful for people who have problems that have lasted a long time, such as family issues.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy looks at changing unhealthy thoughts that shape behaviors. It can help people with mood problems, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.
  • Psychodynamic therapy helps you gain insight by thinking back on your life, thoughts, and behaviors. It can help people with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, stress, and sexual identity issues.
  • Couples and family therapy looks at how the problems of one person are understood by those who are close to them. It can help with mood problems, behavior and emotional problems in children, substance use disorder, and domestic violence.
  • Group therapy is when a small group of people work with one therapist. It may help with family issues, depression or anxiety, loss or trauma, or substance use disorder.

How to Find a Therapist

You can find a therapist through:
  • Your insurance company
  • Your doctor
  • Family and friends
  • Online provider databases
When you find one be sure to ask:
  • About their degree and the problems they help people with
  • The types of therapy they use
  • How they handle privacy
  • Their insurance or billing process
It can take some time to find the right person. Look for someone who is easy to open up to. This will make it easier for you to share your concerns and start feeling better.


American Counseling Association
Mental Health America


Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association


About psychoanalysis. American Psychoanalytic Association website. Available at: http://www.apsa.org/content/about-psychoanalysis. Accessed June 8, 2021.
Mental health medications. National Institutes of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/mental-health-medications. Accessed June 8, 2021.
Psychosocial treatments. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychosocial-Treatments. Accessed June 8, 2021.
Psychotherapy: Understanding group therapy. American Psychological Association website. Available at: https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/group-therapy. Accessed June 8, 2021.
Psychotherapy works. American Psychological Association website. Available at: https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/works. Accessed June 8, 2021.
What to expect from therapy. Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies website. Available at: https://www.abct.org/Information/index.cfm?m=mInformation&fa=fs%5FWHAT%5FTO%5FEXPECT. Accessed June 8, 2021.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board
  • Review Date: 06/2021
  • Update Date: 06/08/2021