Choosing a psychologist may not be an easy task with the vast existing demand and the ignorance that exists in many cases regarding the functioning of psychological therapies. As in other health professions, the bond we establish with the professional is a fundamental variable for the success of the therapy you carry out. Every psychologist is not for every patient, nor every patient for every psychologist.
Also, in psychology, unlike other health professions, such as physiotherapy or dentistry, you will need to open up emotionally and probably address intimate and complicated life issues. That’s why the bond you establish with the professional makes it even more important.
Psychology professionals have the tools to promote proper bonding, and we work to provide an environment of warmth, comfort, and trust with each patient. However, your psychologist will team up with you, guiding and rowing with you through the process of change. For what is legitimate, and also recommended, that the patient himself selects the therapist with whom he wants to work.
The keys to finding the psychologist who corresponds to what you are looking for
From my clinical experience at Conecta Psicólogos Online, when the patient feels convinced that he is in the right place and has made, on his own, the decision to go to a certain professional, the therapy has a rate of higher success. That’s why I’m going to leave you some tips that will help you choose the right professional for you.
1. Review your education and experience
In most cases, psychologists have a website where we explain what we do and how we do it. If he has a specialty related to the problem you want to work on, you are surely in the right place to work on it, and the psychologist has more specific means and resources. For example, to treat a couple problem, it is not essential that the psychologist have specific training in couple therapy, but if he does, it is a variable in his favour.
2. Consider your work style
There are different ways of working to carry out a successful therapy. You can find out about the progress of the sessions, by knowing the predominant style and techniques in the form of therapy and see if it fits what you expect and with you.
3. Verbal and non-verbal language and personality traits
We’re all different, and that’s why we feel more comfortable with different personality types. In other words, if being serious and responsible at work is a very valuable quality for you, you will probably feel more connected and comfortable with a psychologist who transmits professionalism and rigor. On the other hand, if you tend to feel more comfortable with soft, close people, you will probably feel more comfortable with the therapist in whom you find these qualities.
Information relating to keys 2 and 3 can normally be obtained from the professional or clinic’s website, social networks, blog, etc. You can also ask the professional directly how they work, before starting the sessions. During an initial phone conversation, you can certainly pick up on some general feelings and impressions about how this person will work with you in therapy, and how they will address you.
4. Look for references
When someone close to you recommends a particular professional and explains how it worked for them, it always brings security, confidence and motivation to start working with this professional.
Also, while every person is different, you and your environment likely have some common and related personality traits, as well as some similar life experiences, that can make you fit in with the same psychologists as well. If you don’t have people around you who can recommend you to someone, look for references through reviews on websites, Google, psychology portals, etc.
However, although I recommend that you take into account the keys that I mention, I also advise you not to spend too much time choosing, as this will delay the start of therapy and, therefore, your improvement.
Once you consider some of these variables that can increase your chances of feeling comfortable and successful in therapy, don’t be guided only by a first impression, and give it a try. All sessions, especially the first ones, will not be before and after in your life. Be patient with the process and let yourself be guided.