10 essential characteristics of a good psychologist

Being a good psychologist is not always an easy taskAs this profession can become stressful and overwhelming.

Dealing with other people and their sometimes serious problems and helping them deal with their emotions can be overwhelming. It is well known among psychology professionals that, especially those who undergo psychological therapy, the first to attend therapy sessions are the therapists themselves. This can help them to be more objective in the treatment of their patients.

    Principles for being a good psychologist

    Often the difference between being a good psychologist or a bad psychologist is in the attitude, in following a set of principles or habits that enhance good professional work. Sometimes psychotherapy may not work, but psychologists need to prevent bad practice from being the reason the patient has not received therapeutic help.

      But, What are the principles that a good psychologist should apply? How should a good psychologist or therapist be? Here we tell you.

      1. Never judge a patient

      Throughout his career, a psychologist may meet patients who think differently from them in many ways. In addition, some of the experiences revealed by patients may be incomprehensible to many people. But the psychologist or therapist must understand the situation, and although he does not share the way the patient acts or thinks, he must never impose his opinion.

      The psychologist is a professional who has been trained to provide the patient with the tools necessary to improve their psychological well-being. Therefore, a good psychologist does not judge or criticize his patients.

      2. Be accessible

      Patients are usually people who need professional help for different reasons, but who are usually in psychological and emotional distress. A good psychologist makes your clients feel comfortable in their sessions and is accessible. It helps the patient to open up and feel ready to overcome their fears.

      3. Listen actively

      The therapist must pay full attention to his patientsSo he must not only listen to what he is saying, but he must listen to himself fully. This means that he must actively listen, that is, pay attention with the five senses to what the patient is saying.

      Outraged, the psychologist should not interrupt his patient continuously during the sessionBecause it is not positive to maintain the therapist-patient connection. In this regard, it is essential that the psychologist provides an excellent report during his sessions.

      4. Be self-aware and sincere

      The therapeutic relationship is not always easy, Because psychologists are human beings with their own emotions and thoughts.

      But the good psychologist is self-aware and knows when to stop being objective and relies on prejudices when it comes to providing help to his patients. In addition, good psychologists are sincere with both the patient and themselves, which allows them to guide the patient on the path to recovery.

      5. Be in continuing education

      A good psychologist is constantly trainingBecause you need to be able to understand and care for your patients in the best possible way. Our society is constantly evolving and technological advancements are changing the way we interact with the environment.

      To understand the current reality, it is necessary for the therapist to constantly update his knowledge. Training is essential to continue to improve and continue to develop professionally.

      6. Be ethical

      The psychologist, in addition to having theoretical and practical knowledge for the good development of his profession, must be aware of their resources and limitations as well as of the ethical principles that govern the practice of their profession. There is a code of ethics which all mental health professionals must strictly follow and which guarantees professional and quality service.

      The social responsibility of the psychologist obliges him to respect the dignity of his patients and to preserve and protect fundamental human rights. Among some of the ethical obligations of the psychologist, one can find: to use his knowledge to promote human well-being or to maintain professional secrecy.

      7. Communicate effectively

      Because psychologists deal with people, they need to master certain interpersonal and communication skills.

      Well, one of the reasons there is a good professional relationship between a therapist and a patient is good communication and understanding between the twoIt is absolutely necessary that the professional has a series of communicative resources that make his message clear to the patient.

      8. Be patient

      One of the qualities that a therapist should have is patience.. Throughout the therapy sessions, there may be ups and downs on the part of the patient, which can also affect the psychologist, making him question his working method.

      The psychologist-patient relationship is not always ideal, and in many cases the psychologist must be tolerant and patient, and must be able to impart this patience so that the patient is aware that the ups and downs are normal.

      9. Be empathetic

      But the therapist must not only be patient-patient to the person in front of him, but, in order to carry out his professional tasks, he must be empathetic.

      That means he must be able to put himself in the other’s shoes to feel what he feels and think how he thinks. This way you will be able to understand the extent of the problem the person is having and can help yourself. If the psychologist is not empathetic, he or she may minimize the problem the patient is experiencing, which may lead to the use of inappropriate tools.

      10. Drift if necessary

      The psychologist must understand that he cannot help the patient with all his reasons for consultation and that he is not an expert in solving all the problems either. One of the principles for being a good psychologist is know how to drift if necessary.

      Therefore, the psychologist must refer the patient to another professional so that the latter can benefit from the help of another health professional. Failure to do so amounts to professional misconduct.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Official College of Psychologists of Spain. (2010). Code of ethics. Available at: https://www.cop.es/pdf/codigo-deontologico-consejo-adaptacion-ley-omnibus.pdf
      • Vats López, A. and Garcia Grau, A. (2011). Therapeutic skills. Available at: http://diposit.ub.edu/dspace/bitstream/2445/18382/1/Habilidades%20terap%C3%A9uticas.pdf

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