art by: Jerome Lawrence shadow voices: finding hope in mental illness
Rehab & Recovery

Talking through your concerns with a therapist can help you find better ways to cope, solve problems and set realistic goals.

Psychotherapy is a general term for a way of treating mental and emotional disorders by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. It’s also known as talk therapy, counseling or psychosocial therapy.

Through these talk sessions, you learn about the causes of your condition so you can better understand it. You also learn how to identify and make changes in troubling behavior or thoughts, explore relationships and experiences, find better ways to cope and solve problems, and set realistic goals for your life. Psychotherapy can help you regain a sense of happiness and control in your life and help alleviate symptoms caused by mental illness, such as hopelessness and anger.

Seeking mental health treatment can be a big decision. But acknowledging your need for treatment is only the first step. You must also find a doctor or therapist to see.

If you’ve never consulted a mental health provider before, you may not know where to begin. Here’s how to find a mental health provider, along with questions and issues to consider as you decide whether a particular provider suits your style and needs.

Which type of mental health provider is right for you?

Finding a mental health provider

Questions to ask a mental health provider

There are many different types of psychotherapy available. As mentioned, it is important to choose one that is right for you. Psychotherapists are happy to tell you about their treatment philosophy, but it helps to be educated before your first meeting.

For information on the different types of traditional and alternative therapies involved, following these links:

Types of Traditional Psychotherapy
Traditional therapies

Types of Alternative Therapy
Alternative approaches

Sometimes psychotherapy is combined with different types of treatment, such as medication. The treatment plan best suited for your needs depend on such factors as the type of mental illness or condition you have, how long you’ve had it, other medical issues, previous treatments, personal preferences and even cost and insurance coverage. Talk to your doctor about which options are best for you.

Used by permission of

For detailed information on using medication to treat mental illness, as well as a comprehensive list of commonly used drugs: visit the National Institute of Health