Deciding to turn to a psychologist for support, advice or help is often a difficult decision.
Finding the right psychologist can make things even harder.
This is especially so when choosing the wrong psychologist can lead to a bad experience that discourages many people from ever seeing a psychologist again.
There are a few things that can help you find the best psychologist for your needs. Firstly, do your research. This is probably the most important advice when looking for a psychologist. Find out what areas a potential psychologist specializes in and work out if these will be a match for you. Remember a psychologist that specializes in anxiety may not be the best choice if you are needing grief support, for example. You can usually find this information online. On a ‘Find a Psychologist’ database or on a psychology clinic’s website (they often give background information for each psychologist on staff). Also have a look at the training and the ‘school’ of psychology a psychologist use (yes there are different styles of psychology.) You may see terms like psychodynamic, humanistic or CBT. This can make things feel confusing but you can get a feel for these different styles of psychology by spending a little time on Google. So research, research and research.
Psychologists are just people. Some people you will click with. Others you may not. If you really feel like you will not get along with a psychologist you always have the option of trying someone else. Just make sure you are changing because of a clash of personality styles and you are not just avoiding the psychology sessions – because they can be hard work. The option of changing psychologists needs to be balanced with making progress in therapy. Also remember that it takes time to feel comfortable with a person. It takes time to trust a friend enough to discuss personal topics. The same is usually true with a psychologist. It takes time to create a professional relationship where talking feels natural. It’s not an instant process.
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