31 Jan How to Choose the Right Psychologist
With so many Psychologists to choose from, how do choose the right one for you?
People like you seek help from a Psychologist for a number of reasons such as sleep difficulties, loss and grief, building confidence and self esteem, anxiety, depression, marital or relationship difficulties, retrenchment, stress management, eating disorders or wanting to prepare to being a parent to name a few. So, choosing a Psychologist can at times be not only confusing, but also overwhelming.
Following are some helpful tips to be aware of when choosing a Psychologist:
- Qualifications and experience: It’s important to know the difference between these two. Qualifications are all about where an what the person studied, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect the person’s skills or ability to apply material learnt in a counselling setting. Experience on the other hand, reflects what the person’s interests are and what they are known to be good at. Ethically Psychologists cannot make false claims about their interests and areas they can help you with.
Some of the questions you can ask when considering making an appointment with a specific Psychologist are:
• How long have you been a Psychologist for?
• Do you see many clients like me?
• If you see the Psychologist specialises/ has a few interests, ask them how much experience they have working on ‘your presenting issue’ in particular?
2. Rapport Building: Your therapeutic relationship is an important factor in therapy. Your therapeutic relationship is like every other relationship in the sense of how important it is to feel safe and be able to be you in the therapy room. Do you feel safe, comfortable, heard and understood? Remember not all psychologists are the same, so feeling comfortable and safe in therapy is very important. If you don’t, your therapy won’t flow as smoothly and you are very likely not to get the results you are after.
Some of the questions you could ask are:
• What’s your preferred means of being provided with feedback in your appointments and when or how often is feedback sought from clients?
3.Therapeutic approach: Given you can search just about anything and everything on the internet, you may be aware of various therapeutic approaches. Or perhaps you may have heard through someone you know what therapy type worked for them. It’s important to know different therapies work for different people. If you are unsure or even certain about what type of therapy you think may work for you, is important to have this conversation with your Psychologist to see if indeed a particular therapeutic inclination is right for you. In therapy there’s no such thing as ‘one glove fits all’ approach. You are unique and your treatment plan reflects this. This is where your Psychologist experience is extremely valuable as most therapies are open to creativity and flexibility to ensure your Psychologist adapts your treatment based on you and your therapeutic goals.
Some of the questions you could ask:
• What is your preferred therapy type and why?
• Do you use other therapy types?
• How do you choose what therapy to use for whom and when?
4. Word of mouth: This is by far one of the best, if not the best recommendation you could get.
Some questions to ask:
• If you know someone who has received therapy, ask them about their experience – not only about what they liked and what they found helpful, but it is as equally as important to ask what they didn’t like or didn’t find helpful.
• If it is your GP you can still ask them how long they have been working with that particular Psychologist and even why they think they would be a right fit for you.
5. Making sense of what to expect in therapy: Explaining what to expect in therapy, especially your first appointment is also a very important aspect of therapy regardless of whether or not you have had therapy before. Once again, different Psychologists are different and as such their approach and the way they practice may also be different.
Our Vida Psychologists are not only highly skilled and passionate about what they do, but also take pride in empowering you by providing you tools and strategies to deal with the different challenges you may face from time to time.