News For This Month: Tips

Seeing a Psychologist and Picking a Good One

There are no less than 30 million Americans who are struggling with thoughts and emotions that seem uncontrollable, as per National Institute of Mental Health data. Joblessness, divorce, stress, burnout, substance abuse – these and other problems can indeed be paralyzing. But these are common issues human beings face, you may say. Is seeing a psychologist really necessary?

Here are signs you should think about getting psychological treatment from a professional:

You feel too sad and helpless everyday of your life, no matter what you do or how much help you get from family and friends.

> Day to day tasks seem to difficult to handle – for example, you can barely concentrate on work and your job performance inevitably suffers.

> You have irrational worries or a feeling of being constantly on edge.

> You engage in harmful behavior, such as abusing drugs, drinking too much alcohol, etc.

Choosing a Psychologist

Part of this training is completion of a supervised clinical internship in a hospital or any similar setting, plus a minimum of one year of post-doctoral supervised experience. After all of these steps, they can set up an independent practice anywhere they want. This blend of doctoral-level training and clinical internship sets psychologists apart from other mental health care providers.

Psychologists are also required to get a license from the state or jurisdiction that they have chosen for their practice.
In most states, license renewals are possible for psychologists who constantly demonstrate competence and take up continuing education. Moreover, Americal Psychological Association (APA) members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Asking Questions

It’s easy to assume that if a psychologist is well-credentialed, he or she is automatically good for you. Not always. There’s more you have to know, and to know these things, you need to ask questions. So set an appointment with your potential psychologist, and make sure to ask the following:

> How long have you been practicing as a psychologist?

> How experienced are you in treating patients who are in a similar situation as I?

> Do you specialize in any particular areas, and if so, what are they?

> What types of treatments do you normally use, and are they proven effective for the type of issues or problems I have?

> What are your fees (these are usually based on 45 to 50-minute sessions)? What are you payment policies? What kinds of insurance will you take?

Personal Chemistry

Finally, it is crucial that you and chosen psychologist are a match. As soon as all the others check out, credentials and competence and all, you should look at the psychologist’s personality and how it fits yours. A psychologist you don’t even like can hardly help you.

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