By Nicole Garcia, PhD
Figuring out if psychotherapy is right for you can be a stressful process especially if you’ve never
experienced therapy before or have had discouraging therapy experiences in the past. There are also
so many types of therapy that it can be very confusing and anxiety-producing to figure it all out on
I think any one, I mean any one, no matter how old you are, what culture you are from, what
problems you are dealing with, or whatever characteristics differentiate you from the next human
being, can benefit from psychotherapy. The key is making an emotional connection with a therapist
that you find genuine and real, someone that you can trust and be vulnerable with, someone that you
respect and who respects you. It is through this relationship that you will find understanding and
relief. It will lead you toward making changes that will ultimately lead to greater happiness and peace.
The type of therapy that is most appropriate for you will depend on your reasons for seeking
professional help. A lot of people who are looking for relief from anxiety, sadness, work or family
conflicts and general stress may find individual therapy helpful. If you are having issues with your
partner, you may find couples therapy to be the most appropriate therapy type. Family therapy,
which can include any members of your family, may be the best approach if the majority of your
past or present problems stem from your family of origin. Whatever your issues are, your therapist
will help decide which type is the best fit at the moment.
Then there’s the therapeutic approach to disentangle. Without going into detail about the dozens
upon dozens of approaches that exist, there are many schools of thought that are helpful. Whether it
be a psychodynamic or a family systems approach, a cognitive-behavioral or a play therapy
approach, or any of the other skillful approaches, the success of your treatment will largely depend
on the quality of the relationship with your therapist.
Taking that first step can be one of the hardest, and you may even have to try one or two therapists
before you find the right fit, but it’s worth taking that risk. Family and friends can be supportive and
will try their best to be helpful but having the support of a professional, neutral third-party can make
the difference between stagnation and moving forward.