HOW TO CHOOSE A PSYCHOLOGIST

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A PSYCHOLOGIST

In today’s age, many people go through psychological and emotional disturbances due to specific traumatic events. Being gone through harsh experiences at an early age or a history of emotional or physical abuse is one of the leading causes of developing mental illnesses. It not only affects their mental wellness but also ends up altering their lifestyle and personality. They tend to isolate themselves, and it makes them feel lonely. Furthermore, most people that suffer from mental disorders do not have a listener to express their feelings. Not being able to speak about your emotions makes the situation get worse. 

They can worsen if mental illnesses are prolonged, not addressed, and treated on time. People with emotional disorders gravitate towards suicide because they do not find another solution. Suicide attempts keep rising, and it is time we start addressing and running toward a solution. In this regard, seeking professional help from a psychologist is recommended. 

Now a question arises: 

Who is a Psychologist?

A psychologist is a mental health professional with a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or PsyD). Clinical practitioners aim to treat mental illnesses through psychotherapy, i.e., talk therapy. They are not treated by medication. 

American Psychological Association (APA) is a representative organization of psychologists in the United States. It ensures the assessment and evaluation of the programs and institutes. A psychologist having qualified APA PsyD accredited online programs is an assurance that they meet all the scientific and professional standards to provide proficient psychological services to the public. 

A psychologist’s mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), personality disorders, addictions, schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar affective disorder, etc.

But it is crucial to find a skillful and professional psychologist for your consultation to be helpful. Here are some critical factors to watch while choosing a psychologist:

  1. Qualification

A psychologist must hold a professional degree to serve as a mental health expert. Before finalizing your psychologist, make sure you do thorough research about their qualification. To qualify as a psychologist, they must undergo four years of undergraduate and four years of graduate study. Training is essential to the qualification and reflects a psychologist’s competence. Make sure the psychologist you are about to choose is skilled and trained enough. 

  1. Experience in relevant field 

Combined with qualifications, being experienced in psychology is one of the most important things to consider when looking for a psychologist. An experienced psychologist is mastered enough to make the therapy plan work in your favor.  

  1. License 

A licensed clinical psychologist is legally allowed to serve professionally. Make sure the psychologist you are about to choose is licensed. It adds to the credibility of the psychologist. 

  1. Reputation 

You can decide whether or not to see a psychologist based on their reputation in the appropriate profession. Conduct thoughtful research before making a decision. A reputable psychologist will be skilled at what they do. Additionally, it is a wager that your therapy will be successful.

  1. Treatment Charges 

Treatment fee depends on several factors, including the healthcare environment and health insurance. Mental health treatment sometimes falls under the health insurance category, but that might not always be the case. Hence, it is always better to check beforehand whether the health insurance policy supports psychological treatment. 

Supposedly, your psychologist might charge you following the sliding scale fee policy if you do not have health insurance. It suggests that you will be charged based on your monthly income. Consequently, do your research about the treatment fee before choosing a psychologist. 

  1. Treatment Plan

Lastly, do not forget to enquire about the treatment plan that will be followed during your treatment with the psychologist, Because therapy plans are based on several different techniques. For instance, some therapies are entirely consultation-based, while others are not. Interrogate about the techniques and strategies used in your treatment plan. 

QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE PSYCHOLOGIST 

  • Passionate Learner

Psychology is the kind of science that keeps evolving with time and new research studies. An influential psychologist will always be willing to learn more and make amendments to his treatment techniques and strategies. Because to treat patients with excellent efficiency, they need to stay on top of the latest information. For the sole reason of gaining knowledge about their field, they will attend seminars and informative lectures.  

  • Active Listeners 

A psychologist must have exceptional listening skills so the client feels comfortable discussing his feelings and experiences. Active listening skills include focusing during the conversation and noticing the client’s non-verbal gestures while communicating. It helps in understanding the client and his problems better.

  • Empathetic 

It is easier for empathetic psychologists to develop a quick and deep connection with their clients. Because the client feels comfortable talking about his personal experiences and finds it easy to trust the psychologist; moreover, a psychologist must always be soft-spoken and kind while communicating with patients and maintain professionalism. 

  • Patience 

Psychologists sometimes have to deal with difficult patients who find it hard to communicate clearly about their problems. Patience plays the most important role in this regard. The patient should never have to feel the psychologist’s lack of focus on interest in communication. 

  • Problem-solving abilities 

Listening alone is not enough to make therapy plans work. A skilled psychologist is capable of giving solutions to the problems his client comes with. Because when the client gets the solution for the problem he is facing, he will no longer be anxious or worried. And the psychologist will gain his trust as well.

CONCLUSION 

Mental health illnesses should be taken seriously and treated just like all other disorders. For that purpose, psychologists can help a lot. Appropriate qualification combined with experience in the field makes a skillful psychologist. If the psychologist is a great listener with problem-solving capabilities and knows how to be patient around clients, then your struggle with mental stress will most likely be managed well.