As the traditional stigmas around mental health and wellbeing are broken down, more and more people are seeing the benefits of seeing a psychologist. These mental health experts are able to relate to and assist people struggling with a range of issues from minor stress to clinical anxiety and depression.
Engaging the right psychologist, like any other health professional, takes some shopping around and evaluation. Finding the perfect candidate means evaluating them on several criteria.
Let’s take a look at the top things you should be considering when deciding on a psychologist.
What do they specialise in?
Depending on the seniority of the psychologist, they may work more generally with less serious cases as they continue to develop their expertise. More experience psychologists will have worked out a niche in which they are most effective.
These niches can become quite nuanced. For example; a psychologist who deals primarily with depression may focus more on male self-esteem issues and wouldn’t be the best fit for a women with depression following a miscarriage or other related issue.
The best psychologists will usually have client profiles that you can try and see if you match with. They will generally have a template of the kind of people they usually help.
Do you like them?
The most important aspect of choosing a psychologist is whether or not you are able to build a rapport with them. After all, this is a professional who you will express personal thoughts and feelings to in a confidential setting, so it’s important that you like them.
While it’s not possible to build a full working relationship on the first consultation, you can get a feel for their bedside manner and determine if you’d want to come back. Don’t settle for a psychologist you are unsure of as having a sincere rapport is the only way to get successful results.
If you don’t find the psychologist likeable or trustworthy, you won’t follow their advice. This is not to say that they are a bad psychologist, but only that they are not the right fit for the kind of person you are.
Finding the right psychologist is like a superhero looking for the perfect sidekick, you need to make sure you work as a team and gel together.
Is it convenient to see them?
Like anything, there are practical concerns to consider. If it takes you an hour by public transport to see the psychologist, you might be less inclined to stick to your commitment and will end up missing sessions.
Make sure you find a professional that you can easily work with on a weekly basis otherwise the progress you make will be soured.