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Getting started in Psychology
Find a Psychologist
If you have never sought the help of a psychologist, the process can be slightly overwhelming. This is the individual you will be sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings with. Whether you are seeking help for yourself, a child or a loved one finding a psychologist you can trust, is important. When you are trying to find a psychologist and do not know where or how to begin the search, there are several important guidelines that you can follow to find the best professional for your particular situation.
Although a counselor is qualified to help you with certain difficulties in your life, many licensed counselors specialize in problems that do not require a lengthy amount of time and devotion to your mental health. For example, a marriage counselor would have sessions with both you and your spouse to help with problems in your marriage, an addiction counselor will make recommendations for quitting the addiction and may run group sessions for addictions and a grief counselor may provide options for helping you through the grieving process. A counselor, however, will typically not provide long term, in depth therapy sessions. Finding a psychologist who holds a doctorate degree, is recommended. They are a licensed clinical psychologist, meaning they are qualified to provide appropriate therapy and/or recommended medications if necessary.
When you make the appointment for your first meeting with the psychologist, it is important that you make a list of all the questions you want to ask during the appointment. You should ask if they are experienced in the type of mental health problem you are seeking help for, what type of therapy they provide, for example CBT which is cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. The type of therapy the psychologist provides should be beneficial for your situation. Take a mental note of the questions the psychologist asks you, if they make eye contact and if they are responding appropriately to your questions.
When trying to find a psychologist, one of the most important things is comfort. You should be comfortable with the psychologist, comfortable in their office and comfortable around the other staff members you encounter at the office. The alliance between yourself and the psychologist is a vital part of your therapy. After your first meeting, you should consider how you felt during the appointment. Consider all aspects, such as if your questions were answered to your satisfaction. You should have been comfortable from the waiting room to the time spent with the psychologist. If you have doubts about making another appointment, it may be necessary for you to find another psychologist.
The psychologist you are considered must be a licensed psychologist. Whether you have been given a referral or if you want to find a professional on your own, there is a national registry that you can refer to. The registry is a database of all psychologist, therapist and counselors that are registered and have the appropriate licensure for providing therapy. The registry will provide important information such as the persons name, location, length of time they have been licensed, what they are licensed to practice and if there have been any complaints against the individual. If you already have the psychologist name, you can request their license number and find any pertinent information you may need before making an appointment.