“I need help.” A few words that we don’t hear often today, although there are a lot of people who are in constant pain and would need someone’s help. Self-esteem issues, anxiety, constant sadness, experience of traumatic events that we cannot overcome …
We are talking about people who need psychological helpBut often they do not go to see her for different reasons or they are not sure whether or not her problem needs professional help.
In this article, we’ll talk about when we need this kind of help and how and where to get it.
Psychological help: how do I know if I need it?
The question of when we need the help of a professional psychologist may seem easy to answer, but the truth is that many people find it very difficult to decide to consult and even consider that their discomfort is not enough to cure. seek professional help.
The truth is that in clinical practice psychologists deal with all kinds of people, with different kinds of problems. People of any age and condition can consult a psychologist, although in psychology there are different profiles of professionals more specialized in certain areas, such as child and adolescent psychology or psychogeriatrics.
There are many problems that are treated or in which a psychologist can intervene. It is common for people with a mental health issue, anxiety, emotional and / or self-esteem issues, people with cognitive impairment, obsessive issues (like OCD), or psychotic issues (like schizophrenia) to consult a professional., Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder or those who have adjustment problems or have difficulty coping with certain situations.
Sexual dysfunctions and partner problems, lack of communication or the presence of family problems are aspects that can also lead a person to a consultation. Other possible effects can also be problems with learning, the realization of one’s own identity or a high level of stress at work. Family counseling or psychoeducation or disease management can also be provided by a psychologist.
But these are just examples. In fact, whoever submits a problem that causes him deep psychological suffering (Whether or not we are talking about an identified disorder) or difficulties adapting to the environment around you may require professional help. It is possible that in some cases, we are faced with an adaptive or derivative process of a situation that we do not know how to solve or for which we do not feel that we have the resources to solve.
A psychologist will not solve, for example, an economic problem or a layoff, but can help regain a sense of control and combat beliefs of worthlessness or irrelevant elements that are established in the person’s psyche and which in turn. arise.
Of course, keep in mind that a psychologist is not a magician. Lots of people go to consultations with the expectation of a quick and miraculous cure. And in most cases, it won’t. Moreover, any treatment or intervention carried out required an effort on the part of the patient / client / user, serving the psychologist as a guide or promoter to bring him to overcome his problems.
Why so much doubt?
Much of the responsibility for this fact is due to the persistence of great prejudices about the work of psychologists or about going for it. And it is that traditionally and still today, going to the psychologist has been perceived as a sign of a serious mental health problem (until not so long ago, we were called “crazy”) which in turn is seen as stigmatizing.
Many people are embarrassed by this, while others may be afraid to find out that there are serious problems. Others feel a deep reluctance to open up and explain their issues to someone they don’t know, no matter how skilled that person is. Likewise, many find that their suffering is not severe or deep enough to require professional help even though they have been suffering for years.
And it can be almost dramatic, as in many cases deferring the search for professional help can contribute to lengthening and even chronicling the problems that could be resolved or reduce the level of affect they generate much faster and more effectively if early intervention had been initiated.
Fortunately, over time the level of stigma of seeing a psychologist has been drastically reduced, and even in terms of suffering from some sort of psychological issue (which are now the very common anxiety or depression issues in the majority. Population). There is a growing awareness of the need for professional help from someone trained in the functioning of the human psyche. In fact, it is technically calculated that one in four people would need some kind of psychological help at some point in his life.
Psychological help: public or private?
Before talking about how to seek and find psychological help from a professional in this branch of science, it should be noted that one can find professionals who work in public health and others who work in private (there are also those who exercise in both).
Both options have advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, private practice implies a disbursement which, according to the professional, his experience, his theoretical framework or his specialization in a specific subject may be higher or lower. In addition, the large number of private professionals makes it difficult to choose one in particular. On the other hand, it is possible to follow each case more deeply, frequently and effectively, the sessions are longer and generally productive, and there are no waiting lists.
In public health, although we are dealing with a mental health service that does not require direct patient disbursement, the limits of the health system and the low presence of psychologists within this system means that there is usually a certain delay in obtaining a visit, often monthly, and that the length of time each visit lasts is quite limited (except for the fact that it there is less time to process the question In the question).
In both systems there are high quality professionals and that they have received intense and comprehensive training for years, and it is not their position in the public or private sector that is decisive in this regard. In both cases, they have the same functions and responsibilities at the legal level, and in any case, they must be enrolled in the official college of psychologists (otherwise they could not practice from the clinical field) and be or specialist psychologists. in clinical psychology and / or have a master’s degree in general health psychology.
Another different type of help is that offered by other sectors, such as coaching. While they can help solve and solve some of the everyday problems and improve change and empowerment, it should be noted that many coaches are not psychologists and their knowledge and skills can be very limited, because they are not qualified for the treatment of mental disorders. or health problems and disorders.
How will you see a psychologist?
The process of seeking and seeking psychological help from a professional is relatively straightforward, although it largely depends on whether professional help is sought by the public administration or by a private professional.
In the case of seeking psychological help in private, the main difficulty will be to choose a professional among the large number of consultations and existing psychological institutes. In this sense, to guide us we can use different directories of professionals, Being that of the Official College of Psychologists one of those which will allow us to find collegiate professionals.
To choose the right one, it would be useful to know the line or the theoretical framework preferably used by the professional (although today a large majority is eclectic in terms of the use of different techniques) in order to choose the one that we consider the most. appropriate, as well as the type of problem or problems you face in your clinical practice. It can also be useful to know the prestige of the professional himself (although this does not indicate that it should be of use to us).
Finally, we can also be guided by the opinions of users regarding different professionals, but it should be borne in mind that each patient may have certain preferences and that there are different branches and ways of acting within psychology. What is going well for one patient does not have to be what is going well for another even if they have the same type of problem, and the feeling and the therapeutic relationship that is established between the patient and the professional can vary considerably. .
Another aspect to keep in mind is that if the therapeutic relationship does not take place or after a reasonable period of time the treatment applied does not bear any fruit (remember that psychological therapy requires time and the completion by the user of tasks to be effective, and that their benefits are not always captured from the start), we can change professionals.
Once the professional has been chosen, it will be a question of organizing a visit with the psychologist concerned by telephone or by e-mail. At this point, they’re going to ask (if we don’t provide them directly) for a set of data in order to have some information, such as a brief explanation of the general situation, contact details and possibly demographic data. Anyway, the first visits they are focused on the knowledge of the problem and the situation of the patient, client or user and the evaluation thereof, to enter later to analyze the objectives and a possible treatment plan.
Practice in the public sphere
Arriving for an appointment with a psychologist on the public highway first requires going to the general practitioner, who depending on the situation it can lead the subject to psychiatry, And from that to a psychologist. However, unless a persistent and serious problem is detected in many cases, this referral is only made if the patient in question requires it (in part due to over-saturation of the service), which is to consider.
Thus, in the first place, the patient usually goes first through the CAP (Primary Care Center), from which he can be referred to different services depending on the problem detected. In the event of mental disorders, the subject is referred to a Mental Health Center (CSMA for adults or CSMIJ for children and adolescents). A significant proportion of cases only receive treatment on these devices, although in emergencies or acute phases of certain disorders may need to stay on other devices.
In case of emergency, such as a psychotic epidemic or a subject in an acute manic state, it can be referred to Psychiatric Emergencies (in which one can find detoxification units or UHD, double pathology, food problems, gambling addiction, intellectual disability and mental disorders or UHEDI). In the event of dependence on a substance, referral will be made to a drug addiction care and monitoring center or CAS.
The subject will be in an acute unit for the first three or four weeks to stabilize him. After stabilization of the patient or if temporary hospitalization is required until completely stable, the subject can be sent to a subacute unit for a period of approximately three months. If necessary, the subject can move to a half-stay unit for approximately six months, to a MILLE unit in the case of a long stay.
Furthermore, different temporary residential devices such as day hospitals can be used, Therapeutic communities or community rehabilitation services. There are also permanent ones, such as sheltered apartments and residences. In conclusion, there are many services that a person can turn to if they need them, there are alternatives to meet various needs.