Seeing a Psychologist and How to Choose the Right One

Conversation with the psychologist

At least 30 million Americans are struggling with overwhelming thoughts and emotions, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Problems, from stress to joblessness to divorce and more, can indeed feel crippling. But such are rather common issues people often face, you might say. Is seeing a psychologist really necessary?

You should consider seeking psychological treatment if any of the following applies to you:

> You have a strong and prolonged feeling of sadness and helplessness that never gets better despite your or your friends’ and family’s efforts to make you feel better.

> Doing routinary tasks seems almost impossible – for instance, it’s hard for you to concentrate on your job, causing your performance to suffer.

> You have unreasonable fears and are constantly tense or nervous.

> You develop harmful habits, like excessive drinking, substance abuse, etc.

Choosing a Psychologist

As part of their training, they have to finish a supervised clinical internship at an organized health setting, such as a hospital, and spend at least a year in acquiring post-doctoral supervised experience. After passing all these steps, they can start their independent practice in a health care arena of their choice. This very combination of clinical internship and doctoral training is what makes psychologists different from other providers of mental health care. Check out to learn more about psychology.

Psychologists must also be licensed by the state or jurisdiction of their practice.

To renew their licenses, psychologists often have to take continuing education courses and demonstrate competence on a consistent basis. American Psychological Association (APA) members additionally must follow a strict code of ethics. Check out J Toussaint for more info.

Asking Questions

When a psychologist is well-credentialed, your natural tendency is to think that he or she is automatically the one you need. Not always. There are other things you need to know, and the only way to know is to ask them questions. So set up a meeting your prospective psychologist, and don’t hesitate to ask the following:

> How long is your experience as a psychologist?

> How much have you worked with people having issues like mine?

> What do you specialize in?

> What treatments do you usually use, and is there proof that they work on the type of issue or problem I’m dealing with?

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

Personal Chemistry

Finally, it is crucial that you and chosen psychologist are a match. Once everything has checked out – credentials, competence, and the rest – it can only come down to the psychologist’s personality and how it matches your own. It’s hard, if not impossible, to have a productive relationship with someone you don’t even like having around. Visit if you have questions.


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