How To Find The Right Mental Health Care For Your Needs

By Shubhangi Gupta, Psychologist at Untangle

May 27, 2024

Finding the right therapist is crucial for counselling to be effective, but with so many different types of professionals and approaches, the process can feel overwhelming. Whether you are looking for specialised support like couples or family therapy, have specific concerns you wish to resolve, or just want a listening ear to work through your challenges, finding the right fit and creating a connection with your therapist matters.

Investing time to understand what value you wish to derive from therapy makes selecting the right practitioner easier. If you are thinking of starting therapy but are confused about selecting the right professional, having a few guiding principles can make it easier.

Top Tips for Finding the Right Therapy Service for You

Here are some essential tips to help find the right therapist if you are looking to start individual therapy.

1. Identify the right Professional

When it comes to mental health in India, there are three main types of mental health professionals that you can choose from.


Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MBBS + MD) who are trained to diagnose and prescribe medication for a variety of mental health conditions. They are typically available to consult from hospitals or clinics, and tend to have sessions lasting 15-20 minutes to understand core symptoms and prescribe medication to treat them. Seeing a psychiatrist becomes essential when your mental health is severely impacted and you are unable to feel better despite trying therapy or making lifestyle changes. 

Clinical Psychologists 

Clinical psychologists are mental health practitioners who are trained to conduct psychological assessments and diagnose mental health conditions. They hold a RCI licence and require additional educational post their Masters in the form of a M.Phil, M.Psy or Psy.D in Clinical Psychology. Clinical psychologists focus more on providing psychological treatment for severe mental health concerns or illnesses that require clinical expertise and monitoring, like psychosis.

Counselling Psychologists

Counselling psychologists are mental health professionals who utilise a well-being focus and aim at doing long-term work with clients. They are trained in counselling skills and psychotherapy as part of their postgraduate education in MA or Msc in Psychology programs. Many of them also complete additional diploma or certification programs to build specialisations. They are also trained to identify mental disorders but are not eligible to administer assessment, offer diagnosis, or prescribe medication. If a counselling psychologist identifies signs of mental disorders in the client, they will make the appropriate referral to a clinical psychiatrist or a psychiatrist. If you wish to start therapy for inner work or common mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, etc. or to work on your relationship or work life, a counselling psychologist might be your first choice.

2. Therapeutic Orientation

Each therapist has a therapeutic orientation that draws from different theories that aim at explaining why humans act the way they do. In the therapy space these orientations act as a conceptual framework for understanding a client’s needs and for formulating a rationale for specific interventions. For example, some orientations focus on childhood experiences while others focus on present patterns of thought and behaviour. Some of the most commonly used therapeutic approaches in India include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Humanistic therapy, and Person-Centred Therapy, amongst others. 

While some therapists may practise only one type of therapy, others may use an eclectic approach where they create a customised approach for the client using a combination of the different therapeutic orientations. Reading up on these approaches can help clients identify what they would be more open to and what feels like a good fit for them and their concerns.

3. Ask About Experience

Many therapists have experience in specific modalities and types of concerns. Asking candidates directly about their niche areas of practice can help you understand their competencies and typical patient profiles better. For example, an expert child psychologist may have greater rapport and play activities for kids while lacking depth in couples counselling. Check what therapy training and certifications professionals hold beyond baseline credentials. Some examples of additional certifications include trauma informed care, queer affirmative therapy, play therapy, etc. While most offer versatile mental health counselling, some gravitate towards certain concerns like inner-child work, body-based work, relationship concerns, parenting concerns, grief and bereavement, etc. throughout their career.

4. Select your Session mode

Therapy sessions are offered both in-person and online. While the fundamentals of therapeutic work like confidentiality, safety, and empathy remain the same across both modes, and both modes have been shown to be equally as effective, there are a few differences between them as well. Online therapy can be more accessible, affordable, and convenient compared to in-person therapy. However, in-person sessions create more space for physical connection and non-verbal cues in the session. Identifying the right session mode matters more on what you prioritise in the space of your care and connection to your therapist.

5. Decide Your Budget

Therapists fee in India can range from Rs 300 to Rs 5,000 per session. Some well-known celebrity therapists can even charge up to Rs.10,000 per session. The fee varies depending on the therapist’s years of experience, qualification, education and training. Typically the average fee for a good therapist in a tier 1 city in India is anywhere between Rs 1000 to Rs 3000. 

Some therapists may offer a sliding scale, where they are willing to reduce their fee to accommodate students/low-income clients. Some therapists may also offer a pay-what-you-want or pro-bono session to make therapy accessible. Deciding on your budget per session or per month that you want to invest into therapy will help you filter through the options and short list the best therapist for your needs and budget.

6. Explore Session Logistics

Practical considerations around location, accessibility, and appointment logistics also factor when choosing the best fit. It is important to check in on what payment options are available before setting up sessions with a therapist. The physical accessibility of the office space like having a ramp, having a lift, parking availability, and others can determine if it will become a space that is easily accessible for you. Examining the appointment flexibility for shifts or travel, or what the cancellation policies might be is also beneficial. Having logistics confirmed from the get go ensures that your therapy experience aligns with your expectations, schedule, and budget so you don’t encounter barriers down the line.

7. Read Independent Reviews

While no counsellor satisfies every patient uniformly, numerous positive reviews from clients suggest their aptitude in helping clients progress. Asking for references from existing clients can be a good way to figure out if you might connect with the therapist’s work and approach. Additionally, checking reviews on Google or other independent review platforms for client feedback from a therapist’s actual long-term clients will give you a better idea of the quality and effectiveness of their work. However, do give more weight to reviews with specific examples of breakthroughs achieved, compassion shown, or customizations made versus very brief generic praise or gripes. Balanced first-hand experiences help determine expected relationship and outcome quality.

Getting Started With Therapy at Untangle

We understand that getting professional support for your mental health concerns is not always easy. It can feel very overwhelming figuring out the right therapist for your needs. 

At Untangle, our caring team of mental health professionals is committed to providing you with curated and quality mental health services that support you in a holistic manner. 

Our team has extensive training and experience in psychotherapy and couples counselling. Here’s a little snippet about us and what we do here at Untangle. 

Whether you are looking for online or in-person therapy sessions, we are your trusted partner on your journey towards mental health and well-being.