Your relationship with your clinical psychologist is very important as it is one founded on trust and a deep level of intimacy. At the end of the day, they are who you will share your innermost thoughts, some of which you may have never shared before.
A psychologist is armed with the education in understanding human thoughts and behaviour and it is their job to help you understand yourself in the process. Although it may not be easy, through trial and error, and a bit of luck, you’ll be able to find your match in a psychologist – especially with the plethora of trained professionals from diverse backgrounds at the tips of your fingers.
Now before you begin your search, it is important to note down exactly what you are looking for in a health care professional and what kind of things may put you at ease in building that human connection. Do things such as age, gender, or religion play a part in the way you think you will be able to connect with someone?
There are a number of elements that will allow you to enhance your search:
Do your research first
Now when we say research, we mean to explore the background of the experienced psychologists you are interested in to see what professional training they have received, what they specialise in, and what their approach to therapy is. You need to make sure that they align with you and that you are able to be personable and open up to them. Although they are not your friend, they are someone you need to be able to let break down your walls.
Don’t be afraid to try again
If you have never had a psychologist appointment before it may be daunting and scary at first to take the plunge. Depending on your intentions behind seeking a psychologist in the first place, who your looking for may be different from that of a friend for example. You may be seeking an online therapist who specialises in anxiety counselling, whereas the clinical psychologist your friend recommended is a cognitive behavioural therapist. Just know that it is okay to not get it right the first time and that someone who may work for a friend, family member or has a good review online may not align with your values and the treatment you are seeking.
Alongside recommendations from friends, it is important to also seek referrals from your doctor as well as search through online therapist directories so that you can find clinicians based on location, education, and specialisation. Telehealth platforms such as Inner Psych are a great way to start as you can read about the psychologists on their website and learn more about their background and approach to therapy.
Find out what treatment plan is available
When testing out the waters with a new psychologist it is important to learn about their treatment plan. Everyone has a unique journey to reaching personal and professional goals so it is important that you resonate with your psychologist’s approach to mental health treatment and ensure that it will allow you to become your best self.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you have trust and faith in the relationship you are building with your experienced psychologist. You need to feel comfortable expressing yourself and feel confident that they will be able to help you reach your goals.
Read our article on how finding the right telehealth psychologist could improve therapy success.