How To Choose A Therapist (VIDEO)

06/28/2011 02:50 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2011

You may know that psychologists and psychiatrists are not the same thing, but what many people don't realize is that the popular conception of psychologists as Freudian analysts is largely out of date.

Some psychologists do still specialize in psychoanalysis, but a number of other therapeutic approaches have emerged in the last few decades, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and psychodynamic therapy, a descendant of psychoanalysis.

So how do you know which type of therapy is right for you?

"There are specific therapies that are more effective for certain conditions than others," Dr. Daniel Carlat, a psychiatrist and the author of "Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry," told AOL.

For example, CBT is effective for treating phobias, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and some versions of depression, he says, whereas personality disorders like borderline personality disorder might respond better to, say, DBT or psychodynamic therapy.

However, given that most people don't know which therapy is right for which condition, Dr. Carlat doesn't recommend trying to select your therapy yourself.

"The best thing to do is to simply go to see a therapist, to receive a diagnosis, and then to find out what that therapist proposes."