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What Type of Therapist Should I Be?

With people reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety in record numbers due to the global pandemic and current events, many countries are on the verge of a mental health crisis. If you’ve ever considered becoming a social worker, psychologist, or behavior therapist, now is a great time to pursue a degree in psychotherapy. Whether your ultimate intent is family therapy with groups of people or therapy sessions on an individual basis, the reality is that your help will be both needed and appreciated in the foreseeable future

However, just because you have an interest in psychology or see the growing need for psychotherapy in places like the United States, it’s important to understand that there are many types of therapy and that, while you may enjoy offering one type of counseling, another form of psychoanalysis could be a bad fit. If you’re considering entering the mental health field, it’s a good idea to get a handle on the types of psychotherapy out there to put yourself and your future clients in the position to succeed. For a brief overview of types of therapy and which might work best for you, read on.

Behavioral Therapist


Do you enjoy research studies, numbers, and following instructions? If you like data and enjoy following a script and structure, a job in behavioral therapy might be for you. In a typical masters in applied behavior analysis program, you’ll learn skills like CBT therapy and be in the position to help people to change their behaviors. Not only will your skills add up to helping people with relationship challenges and bad habits, but your work in this highly structured field of psychology will go a long way in making a difference in your client’s lives in the areas of job performance, social skills, and healthy routines.

One of the great things about work in the behavioral end of psychology is that you’ll have the ability to take quantified measures of your successes and failures. More rigid than other forms of therapy, the formal training that comes with behavioral psychology can add up to helping the therapeutic process work more quickly and without the harmful side effects of other drawn-out, client-driven modalities.

Talk Therapy Counselor


If you’re someone who likes less structure and believes a client should dictate what’s best for them, you may be happier in individual therapy over the course of your career. General talk therapists work with clients to help them make positive changes, analyze complex concerns, and grow to make healthy decisions. Most talk therapists use what’s called postmodern modalities when it comes to treatment types. These forms of therapy rely heavily on client-led sessions versus modernistic approaches that are more directive. While it’s possible to become a modernist and directive therapist in today’s world, it’s less common than in years past.

To be a talk therapist, you’ll need to be a good listener able to work with people from all circumstances. You should have patience, the ability to retain large chunks of information and be a great communicator both verbally and on paper.

Marriage and Family Therapist


Marriage and family therapists are trained in group dynamics. If you’re someone who can multitask and has a natural interest in the ways that people interact, this could be a great specialty for you. At the end of the day, whether you decide to apply for an ABA program to become a behavior analyst or you decide to focus on a career in psychiatric services, doing all you can to research your own psychology interests, coursework requirements, and opportunities out there before applying to a graduate school program is a good idea. Best of luck to you with your coursework and exciting career ahead. Your interest and skills in mental health will be in high demand.