The good news about therapy is how largely accepted it is as an effective way of handling stressed emotions or difficulty in improving a particular life situation.
More good news is that prospective patients have a wide assortment of therapists from which to choose.
The less than good news is that the selection of therapists is so vast, all of them claiming positive outcomes, you probably have very little idea of how to decide which type of credentialed therapist would be best for you.
This vital step of deciding who from among a certain category would be best for you, relies more on intuition, self-knowledge, and personal preferences, than logic.
Start by learning the definition of the letters after a therapist’s name because these refer to the type of professional education the person achieved.
Then, reflect on whether you prefer a short or long term change.
Say, you and your partner are having problems in your sex life. Most likely these are rooted in patterns of relating consisting of expectations, fears and wishes which to some degree, neither of you are conscious of having.
Sex therapy probably will solve the immediate problem of enhancing the mechanics of sex.
You may end up improving your sex life for awhile.
Long term, unless the foundational dynamics of the couple are also being addressed, once the novelty of following an outlined program of steps and benchmarks wears off, then whatever was the root cause of your sex life tension, will most likely show.
Similarly, anger management program “tips”, techniques, protocols, et al, offer short term results because they similarly address only the behavior, not the core reasons for being angry.
Do the short term therapy programs ever develop into longer lasting changes?
Yes, sometimes. It is definitely possible that as a side effect of less stress and tension due to the original problem decreasing in intensity, that people will feel freer, more relaxed and open to develop new standards in hearing and interacting with others.
The best way to decide whether to find a therapist who works deeply for gradual, long term results, or a short term counselor, who primarily coaches and supports you in specific behavioral changes, is to know your usual preferences in life when presented with the choice of short or long term investments of your resources.