As useful as therapy can be, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. You’ve made the decision to start seeing a therapist, but how do you find someone who will really get you? There are many, many types of therapists and even more types of therapy. You may be asking yourself, “Do I choose a cognitive behavioral therapist?” “Would I benefit from coaching?” “What are all these acronyms, like ACT, CBT, or DBT?”
These are all valid questions. It’s understandable for you to want to know what to expect when you make the decision to seek support for yourself in this way. Therapy is most effective when you feel comfortable and connected with your therapist, and your therapist’s theoretical approach often informs that relationship, so these are valuable questions to explore.
If you’re ready to get started right now, the best way to figure out what type of therapy is best for you is to fill out our free, confidential therapist matching form. We will view your therapy preferences and personally help you select a therapist from our staff who best meets your needs.
However, if you would like to start getting a sense of what type of therapy approach may be best for you, the following quiz might help. As you take it, more than one response may resonate with you, which is okay! Consider which answer fits best in this moment, and go with that:
Please Note: This quiz is not professional or medical advice, nor should this quiz serve as a mental health assessment. It is only a fun starting place. By taking this quiz, you may learn about a few types of evidence-based therapies that exist in the behavioral health field. Your results may help you determine which type of therapist would best suit you.
About Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) both follow the ABC model. “A” stands for “Activating Event,” or an event that happened in your environment. “B” stands for “Beliefs,” or the belief you have about that event. “C” stands for “Consequence,” or the emotional (and behavioral) response.
Both of these types of therapy were developed to help us learn how our beliefs influence our feelings and behavior. An REBT or CBT therapist will help you test, dispute, or challenge the beliefs you hold that may be irrational or unuseful to you (For example, perhaps you believe that you fail at everything and will therefore continue being a failure).
REBT also specifically focuses on unconditional acceptance – acceptance of yourself (learning to accept your flaws and still see yourself as unconditionally acceptable), acceptance of others (learning that others may treat you unfairly, but are still also acceptable), and acceptance of life (life is sometimes unpleasant and even extremely painful, but it is still bearable).
About Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) & Other Behavior Therapies
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a specific type of behavioral therapy. Pronounced as, “act,” (Get it? Like taking action with your behavior) this type of therapy can help you live your life in ways that are consistent with your values, or what is most important to you, and help you develop more psychological flexibility.
Many people come to therapy just wanting to stop having distressing thoughts or feelings that they consider to be, “bad.” ACT therapists can help you recognize how those attempts to suppress or control your feelings may actually create challenges for you. ACT’s goal is to help you shift the way you relate to emotional pain and learn ways to live a healthier, more meaningful life.
“Behavioral therapy,” is an umbrella term for many types of therapy that seek to identify and change unhealthy or unhelpful behaviors. Behavior therapies are based upon the idea that all behaviors are learned, and serve particular purposes in specific contexts.
About Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, but was originally developed for people who felt emotions very intensely and wanted to improve their relationships. The aim of DBT is to help you understand and accept your emotions, develop new skills to manage them, and become capable of making meaningful changes in your life.
An important word in DBT is “dialectical,” which describes understanding how two things that seem to be completely opposite could simultaneously be true. For example, accepting yourself as worthy and also working toward changing your behaviors may seem like they’re in opposition, but DBT teaches us that having those goals coexist can be possible,attainable, and incredibly helpful.
A DBT therapist will help you change your behavior using four main types of skills: mindfulness skills, distress tolerance skills, interpersonal effectiveness skills, and emotion regulation skills. While individual DBT skills sessions can be useful, you may also find benefits from a DBT group therapy setting. If you would like to learn more about New York Behavioral Health’s DBT groups, learn more on our website.
About Health, Life, & Executive Coaching
Coaches can help you effectively and efficiently identify what are the right goals for you now, strategize how to accomplish them, and learn new or develop the existing skills you need to achieve the outcomes you can imagine. This can allow you to achieve goals across multiple domains, like leadership, productivity, work-life balance, health, building better relationships, organizational development, etc.
A health coach will help you develop and maintain motivation, set realistic goals rooted in your values, which you can collaboratively clarify, develop self-assessment skills to better understand the role your emotions, stress, situations, relationships, and other factors play in affecting your behaviors and decision making.
You’ll gain concrete skills, practice exercises to improve your habits, review scientifically-based techniques, engage in discussions and act as a sounding board to help you reach your goals, solve problems that come in along the way, to improve your satisfaction with your life. If you would like to learn more about health coaching, please feel free to read more on our blog.
About Group Therapy
Group Therapy can benefit those who are new to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Joining a group where you can hear how those more experienced have applied CBT successfully to their challenges is a great way to learn and can be very motivating. Likewise, a group is also appropriate for someone who needs extra support in addition to individual therapy. It is also an effective therapy format for those who need a safe place to improve their interpersonal skills.
Those with social anxiety can practice the skills they need in the real world in a safe environment where they can get immediate feedback and encouragement. Those with anger management issues often benefit from being able to practice scenarios with group members. They can then hear both sides of the anger exchange, allowing them to more effectively communicate in the real world after understanding how their statements are interpreted by others.
One of the most important aspects of the group therapy setting is a non-judgmental perspective. Progress is evaluated, but group members learn to judge progress without judging themselves or each other. By reducing guilt, embarrassment, and shame clients can be more productive at getting back to working on goals instead of being plagued by negative emotions.
Your Next Steps Toward Finding a Therapist
It can be so hard to decide to come to therapy, and often even harder to find your comfortable fit. If you’re ready to get started, New York Behavioral Health is here for you. Take our therapist and coach matching form and we’ll offer you our best recommendations. If you feel ready to go ahead and schedule, you can select from our therapists’ availability right here on our website.