What Type of Therapist Should I See?

You’ll easily find a variety of therapists in San Diego, but then will be faced with the decision of which type of therapist to see and what medium to be seen.  After all, there are a range of therapies and therapists to choose from, and the right therapist for you may be drastically different than the right therapist for another person.

Below are the different types of therapies:

  • Individual: Meant for those who want to explore their personal issues more deeply. These issues may or may not be related to a relationship although our issues always play out in relationship to one degree or another. For example, a person may seek individual counseling for work stress, anxiety, grief or personal development irrespective of any particular relationship that may or may not be connected or they may seek to examine their influence and behaviors as it relates to a specific relationship such as a partner, family member or co-worker.
  • Family: Family conflicts are often the hardest to deal with as they are usually long withstanding. This can be a good choice for any family or subset of a family that has been having inter-family issues causing struggle, distance or dissension.Therapy Wooden Letterpress Concept
  • Group: A group therapy setting is the ideal choice for anyone that is trying to overcome issues in which they feel isolated. People struggling with alcoholism or addiction, depression, codependency or PTSD may choose group therapy. The main advantage is come to realize you’re not alone in your struggles and you get a wider range of support. There is often more motivation in group counseling because you see people with your same struggles grow and heal.
  • Couples: When you’re having relationship problems, couples therapy is a good choice. Couples therapy is for any couple whether married or not. In fact, the best time to enter relationship counseling is when the problems are new because they are easier to work through at that point.  Communication, conflict resolution and navigating differences are often the focus.

And, now comes the decision of what kind of therapist to choose. There are many mental health professionals that can help you, such as:

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers – A type of therapist who has received most of their training in social work.
  • Marriage and Family Therapists – a therapist who has had the majority of their education and training in therapy for individuals, couples and families.
  • Psychiatrists – A medical doctor not trained much in therapy but who mainly prescribes medication.

Usually, a phone call and little time talking will help you know if that therapist might be a good fit.  Listen to your gut to determine whether you feel comfortable with him or her.  Ask all the questions you have to help you determine whether you think they can support you in your struggles and assist you in getting where you want!

Sylvia Flanagan, MFT is a San Diego therapist with a private practice in Mission Valley. For more information about San Diego Counseling, feel free to call or email her.  Office hours are Monday through Thursday 10:00 am through 6:00 pm. and Fridays from 10 through 3pm.

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I offer individual counseling, couples therapy and premarital counseling. The issues I work with are diverse and range from problems arising from sudden circumstantial changes to long standing and complex struggles. My approach to counseling is varied since individual needs and circumstances inform the methods I use. I don’t approach any two people the same and personalize my methods for each situation and client. Click the button below to book a session and we can begin your journey to rediscovery.


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