The 7 Therapist Archetypes

Posted On April 10th, 2021

One of the most important predictors of therapy success is something called the “therapeutic alliance,” or, simply put, the relationship between therapist and client. You want to find a therapist who can talk with you about your concerns and guide you through your progress in a way that makes sense and feels right for you.

RightFit developed 7 common therapist archetypes to help you understand what the approach of each therapist type will look like. While it’s important to remember that no therapist is one single type and most can adapt to their clients’ needs, knowing the type of therapy style works best for you will give you more insight into, and thus more control over, your mental health journey.

Read on to learn about the different therapist archetypes, and find the right therapist for you by browsing the RightFit directory or taking our therapist match survey!

The Cat

Will give you lots of yoga and breathing exercises. Will bring everything back to the mind/body connection. Will probably offer you tea and encourage you to pick a scent for the oil diffuser.

The Dog

Every session feels like a warm hug. Will still push you but in a gentle way. Will probably share their current favorite TV show and relate it back to therapy.

The Fox

Will focus on how past experiences and relationships affect current behavior. Will disclose less about themselves and keep the focus of session on you. Probably what you think of when you picture a classic therapist.

The Lemur

Will frequently describe your troubles as a quest. Will use video games or refer to them to help you deal with painful topics. Will probably have figurines for you to play with.

The Lion

Will challenge every thought you have and encourage you to push yourself. Tends to be very directive and structured in therapy. Probably will give you lots of homework.

The Owl

Will refer to the latest journal article that they read to help you understand your behavior. Stays mostly focused on current concerns that you bring up. Likely more scientific in their approach.

The Penguin

Will laugh at therapy memes with you and make jokes that hit the heart of what you’re going through. Gets you talking about your problem without you realizing it.


therapy archetypes