Choosing the psychologist who will suggest his sessions to us may seem an easy task. at a time when the Internet can quickly locate the closest query.
If we live in a small town, we might just have to ask ourselves which mental health professionals practice in our area, and if we are in a large urban center, we will still have many tools to inform us. of all upcoming consultations. However, things get more complicated when we introduce the variable “quality” into the equation.
Choosing a good psychologist is not always an easy task, because there are many factors to consider and some depend on the specific type of service we are looking for.
Tips for choosing a good psychologist
Of course, each case deserves to be studied and it is impossible to give precise clues to select the best of all professionals without knowing the characteristics of the patient and of the psychologists available in the region. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow that will help you choose a good psychologist.
here you are ten of these key.
1. make sure you are a psychologist
The first point in choosing a good psychologist is … make sure you are a psychologist or psychologist. This seems like a very obvious point, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Labels and denominations abound in the job market that make us think that anyone who uses them to define themselves is a psychologist. However, this is not true: today it is possible to present oneself as a “psychotherapist” or “therapist” without having completed a university degree in psychology. Cases of intrusion at work have been reported.
A person claiming to be a psychotherapist does not need to be a psychologist, although a psychologist can be a psychotherapist. To be sure that the person offering you the sessions has a university degree in psychology, you can check if they have a membership number and an official university degree.
2. Make sure you have a specialization in what you are looking for
There are many types of psychologists and they do not all have to be suitable for what you are looking for. To begin with, you need to know whether the professional who took care of you is specifically trained in clinical psychology, as there are also psychologists whose specialization is focused on marketing, laboratory research or human resources. Keep in mind that depending on the country you live in, being a clinical psychologist may be sufficient with a college degree or you may need to pursue at least a postgraduate master’s degree.
Once you’ve made sure to choose from people skilled in clinical or health psychology, find out which of these specialize in the issues you want to solve.
3. Find out about the type of psychotherapeutic approach he offers
A psychologist can suggest psychotherapeutic approaches that currently lack strong evidence of their effectiveness, such as past life therapy and other alternative therapies. This is not a reason to exclude their services, but it should be noted that some practices do not have the approval of science.
Alternative therapies can be more or less useful in each case, the usefulness or not being determined by the patient through his own subjectivity, but a good psychologist will not move from these practices to means of intervention effectively verified empirically.
Before choosing a psychologist, you should keep in mind that the most scientifically approved form of psychological treatment is cognitive behavioral therapyAlthough there are treatments that have been shown to be effective in treating specific disorders. Therefore, the best you can do is ask for information on the scientifically proven level of effectiveness of the proposed treatments and, from there, decide one way or the other.
4. Make sure confidentiality is guaranteed
It never hurts to remember that during the sessions, the confidentiality of everything you say or do must be guaranteed. As a general rule, your personal data cannot be disclosed by any professional of psychology or by any company composed of psychologists. If this confidentiality is violated in any way, this fact may be grounds for complaint.
5. You have signed an informed consent document
Before starting therapy, you should receive a dossier containing information on the services available and, more specifically, the type of therapy you choose. Attached to this type of file must be the document of informed consent, in which you sign an agreement, you know what will be done during the sessions.
6. Does it offer assessment and diagnosis?
In the early visits a psychologist should explore the patient’s problem through an assessment step that should not go beyond the first 4 or 5 sessions. This will allow you to diagnose your problems, and this diagnosis should be explained to you in clear terms, so that you understand it.
If you notice that the person giving you therapy indefinitely prolongs the assessment stage, mixes this stage with the treatment stage, or if you notice that their explanation of the diagnosis is deliberately confusing and esoteric, consider discontinuing the therapy. sessions.
7. Is the intervention you are proposing clear?
Choosing a good psychologist is also opt for a professional who knows how to communicate well with his patients and who does not reserve information on his plan to intervene with therapy. This is why you need to be able to clearly explain to yourself the number of sessions planned and what will happen during those sessions.
Likewise, it must also be able to offer clear answers to any doubts about the therapy that will come your way.
8. The psychologist should not judge you
Psychological professionals should never judge their patients for its role is to provide solutions and direct efforts towards clear objectives. They don’t care about being the guardians of morality. It is imperative that a psychologist knows how to promote a good relationship, that is, an environment of trust that allows you to express yourself without bonds.
This is partly the reason that allows patients to behave sincerely during the sessions.
9. How is the therapeutic relationship?
Clinical psychologists work to help find solutions, not befriending or becoming emotionally involved with their patients. Establishing personal relationships with patients goes against the code of ethics for psychologists.
If you notice that the person offering you treatment behaves like a friend or lets you know that they seek continuity in your relationship at times when they are not treating you like a professional, you should immediately exit therapy.
10. Do you find it useful to come to your consultation?
At the end, you must be the person who evaluates the usefulness of going to the psychologist. Psychologists therefore cannot force you to continue treatment, nor should they tell you not to realize the usefulness of your services.
The advances you may be making are useless if, in the later stages of therapy, you aren’t the one to notice them.
In summary …
With these keys in mind, you should already be able to make an informed decision when choosing a good psychologist. Keep in mind, however, that the list you just read can be endless, and there are countless issues to consider when choosing to choose one professional or another. they can give it to you.
If you have questions about the role of the psychologist and the therapist-patient relationship, you have no choice but to leave your question in the comments (below the post) and we will be happy to answer you.