Choosing a Psychologist

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Choosing a Psychologist, out of the many that are available, can feel like a difficult task. Having made the decision to start counselling you probably want to get started as soon as possible but might be struggling to decide who is best for you to see. It might help to understand a bit more about what and whom you are choosing between to make the best choice.

There are different professional qualifications:

  • counselling
  • psychology
  • social work

and different titles:

  • therapist
  • psychologist
  • counsellor
  • psychiatrist
  • social worker

to try to understand. There are also different types of therapies, e.g:

  • gestalt
  • cognitive
  • psychodynamic
  • behavioural

and many individual practitioners to choose from. Making your way through piles of information and extracting what is helpful can be made easier by using the following steps:

Inform Yourself

Look at different counselling websites. Typically, each counsellor should have a description of their areas of expertise and approach to counselling to help you to choose who might be the best fit for you.

Choose a qualified professional who clearly outlines their training, qualifications and relevant professional accreditations. The counsellor’s experience in dealing with the issues you have is an important factor to consider.

Do check for professional memberships and, if relevant, registration. You should always feel free to ask about a counsellor’s training, experience and professional membership.

Set Limits

It is important to put a limit on the ‘finding out’ stage. Too much information on the table can lead to overload and makes a decision harder. Past a certain point, getting more information will only leave you feeling less informed and perhaps confused about how to make your decision. At worst, you make no decision at all.

Make a Decision

When choosing a counsellor, remember to allow room for your ‘gut reaction’  – the person’s profile you read that you just have a feeling you would like to work with. There is much research highlighting that the connection between client and therapist and the therapists experience are more predictive of successful outcomes than the type of therapy or techniques practiced.

You might want to call more than one Psychologist, to get a sense of the person, to help in making your final decision.

Follow through with making an appointment and give yourself the best opportunity to make the most of the counselling – it is an investment of time, money and energy in yourself.

And Finally….

Remember, your decisions can be reversed. If the choice you made doesn’t end up being one you’re happy with you can always change it.

How will I know if something isn’t right with the therapy?

  • You don’t feel comfortable talking about something
  • Your Psychologist is dismissive of your problems or concerns
  • Your Psychologist seems to have a personal agenda
  • Your Psychologist does more talking than listening
  • Your Psychologist tells you what to do and how to live your life

If you would like more information or would like to make an appointment, please click here for details of how to contact me.

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