Seeing a therapist for the first time can be intimidating, but you don’t want to shortchange your mental health. If you are having second thoughts about speaking with someone, it may help to remember that you are not alone: About one in four adults in the United States is diagnosed with a mental health disorder in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
How therapy can help
A mental health specialist can help you deal with a variety of disorders, as well as the challenges of everyday life. These can include:
What to expect from talk therapy
Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, is based on a two-way relationship between you and your mental health specialist, who may be one of the following:
During a session, which typically runs 45 to 60 minutes, you openly talk about what is on your mind in a supportive and nonjudgmental environment. Your therapist can help you identify and change thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to your depression, anxiety or other negative feelings. You may also learn coping skills to help you better manage your mental health.
Approaches to therapy
Depending on their training, mental health specialists may use several different approaches in therapy. Some examples include:
Therapists typically blend different approaches so they can better personalize your treatment. If you would like more information on UCLA Health’s mental health services, visit the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences or call 310-825-9989.
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