Consulting with a Psychologist and How to Pick a Good One
The National Institute of Mental Health says over 30 million Americans are having problems with seemingly uncontrollable thoughts and feelings. Problems, from stress to joblessness to divorce and more, can indeed feel crippling. But such are rather common issues people often face, you might say. Do you actually have to consult with a psychologist?
You should consider seeking psychological treatment if any of the following applies to you:
You feel too sad and helpless everyday of your life, no matter what you do or how much help you get from family and friends.
> Day to day tasks seem to difficult to handle – for example, you can barely concentrate on work and your job performance inevitably suffers.
> You have unreasonable fears and are constantly tense or nervous.
> You start abusing drugs, drinking too much alcohol or any habit that are destructive to you and others.
Choosing a Psychologist
Part of this training is completion of a supervised clinical internship in a hospital or any similar setting, plus a minimum of one year of post-doctoral supervised experience. After all of these steps, they can set up an independent practice anywhere they want. This very combination of clinical internship and doctoral training is what makes psychologists different from other providers of mental health care.
Psychologists are also required to get a license from the state or jurisdiction that they have chosen for their practice.
In most states, license renewals are possible for psychologists who constantly demonstrate competence and take up continuing education. American Psychological Association (APA) members additionally must follow a strict code of ethics.
It’s easy to think that any well-credentialed psychologist is good for you. Not really. There’s more you have to know, and to know these things, you need to ask questions. So schedule a meeting with the psychologist you may be eyeing, ensuring you ask the following:
> How long have you been practicing as a psychologist?
> How experienced are you in treating patients who are in a similar situation as I?
> Do you specialize in any particular areas, and if so, what are they?
> What types of treatments do you normally use, and are they proven effective for the type of issues or problems I have?
> What are your fees (these are usually based on 45 to 50-minute sessions)? What are you payment policies? > What types of insurance will you accept?
Lastly, it is a must that you and your psychologist get along. As soon as all the others check out, credentials and competence and all, you should look at the psychologist’s personality and how it fits yours. It is challenging, if not downright impossible, to work with someone you don’t even like.