Helpful Tips for Finding the Right Psychologist
Published Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Updated Friday, January 22, 2016
Finding a psychologist is easy. However, finding the right one for you requires a bit more research and consideration. Each therapist has a unique personality and way of applying their education.
Some therapists will be "certified", some will be "registered" and yet others will be "licensed." While personality, wisdom and compassion are certainly important, it's also crucial that your therapist have professional training. With that in mind, a psychology masters is a good place to start.
In addition, you should consider:
Comfort - Are you comfortable with him? Do you feel like you can make small talk? Does he make you feel safe? Does he appear interested in you? Does he look bored or impatient? Do they have an easy way of communicating with you and appear empathetic? Do they have their emotions in check? Do they appear arrogant or have a know-it-all attitude? It's more important that you feel comfortable with them than it is the other way around. You are not expected to automatically accept the first therapist you meet with, perhaps not even the first few. However, if you find yourself dismissing every therapist, it could be a reflection of your own fears or neurosis. If that happens, you will need to stick it out with one to explore your motives for your negative reactions to every therapist.
Attitude - A good therapist will have a positive attitude towards people in general. They'll recognize the fact that humans are basically decent. They'll assure you that your behavior is a result of issues that are not inherent to your nature but more reflective of your experiences.
A Road Map - Your therapist should be able to provide you with a "road map" to their approach and how they expect to help you with an approximation of when your therapy will be complete.
Consultation - Do they consult with peers? Even the best psychotherapists find regular peer consultation a benefit to themselves and to their clients. With peer consultation they'll get effective feedback, objectivity and a reality check. With a clearer perspective, they can more effectively help you.
Feedback - Do they accept your feedback appreciatively without getting defensive or upset? You should be able to tell them what you're feeling even if it means telling them they've offended you or hurt your feelings.
Finding a good therapist involves you and he or she discovering each other. Good communication is obviously a priority. Comfort, experience, education and trust are paramount as well.