FINDING THE RIGHT PSYCHOLOGIST FOR YOU
You have decided that you would like to talk to someone about yourself, your relationship or your career, so how do you find a psychologist who can help you? Here are a few tips to improve the possibility that you will find the right psychologist for you.
1. Ask someone you trust
Say to a friend, family member or your GP: “I would like to speak to a psychologist to work through something. Can you recommend anyone?”
2. Google it
Sometimes it can be hard to ask someone you know for a recommendation for a psychologist. Look online by searching psychologist and your area. Looking through a psychologist’s website or profile can give you a good idea about the type of problems they work with and their way of working with people.
3. Give a psychologist a call
The best way to get a real sense of a psychologist is to give them a call and chat. They should be willing to answer any questions you may have, such as:
- Do you have experience working with people with my type of problem?
- What do you charge per session?
- Do you claim directly from medical aid?
- How long will counselling typically last?
Asking these questions will help you get a feeling for the psychologist by how they respond to you: Are they professional? Open? Make you feel relaxed?
4. Trust yourself
Take note of how you feel about a particular psychologist from when you look at their profile to when you chat on the phone. The connection between you and the psychologist is really important so make sure you feel you can trust the psychologist and that they are listening to you.
5. Book a test run
Book a session with a psychologist who you feel comfortable with after your chat on the phone. Committing to seeing a psychologist is a big decision so use the first session to see how you feel in their presence. These might be helpful questions to ask yourself:
- Does the psychologist seem to care about me?
- Do I feel heard and understood?
- Do I feel accepted?
- Do I feel safe to share personal information?
- Do I feel I can be open and honest?
Answering yes to these questions is a good starting point for counselling. The psychologist should offer you a sense of connection, safety, and support.