There are those who, knowing that they need to attend psychotherapy, do not dare to throw themselves into it simply because it is difficult for them to find a psychologist that suits their needs.
However, the truth is that although some people may find this process intimidating, it is not as complicated as one might think, even in countries where this type of service is not very well regulated. Finding a mental health professional is, among other things thanks to the Internet, something that is increasingly simple and accessible for all types of public.
In the following lines we will see several tips on how to find a psychologist to attend to our case in a personalized way, taking into account their knowledge and our main specific needs.
How do I look for a psychologist to take care of me? 7 steps
Follow these guidelines to find a psychologist or a team of psychologists in a psychology center that suits what you are looking for.
1. Determine the severity and nature of your problem
In practice, even if a psychologist sees that he can not work with a case like the one you are presenting, he will advise you in the best possible way so that someone who is specialized in that kind of problems can treat you. However, if you take a little time to think about what happens to you, you will have more chances of hitting the first one (considering that it is very likely that you do not have an objective and realistic view of what really happens, and what is normal that even you make mistakes in this aspect).
So, ask yourself. The first is what kind of problem you have: is it something that has to do mainly with your social relationships, or does it affect you only in a relatively isolated way? Does it have to do with your feelings, with your perception of things, or with both? Is it something automatic, or something that has to do with your way of making decisions?
The second question is to what extent is it serious, what is the intensity of your discomfort or who comes in contact with you.
Depending on these issues, later you should look for psychologists with one or another specialization, and with more or less demanding experience requirements, taking into account your availability and your ability to hire therapy sessions with them.
2. Set your spending limit
You have to be realistic and think long-term, keeping in mind that you will need several hours of work from the psychologist. Therefore, consider all the expenses that this reasonable amount of hours will entail, including apparently minor aspects such as transportation costs, and set a maximum amount of money to dedicate to this.
3. Decide if you are looking for face-to-face, online or mixed therapy
Many psychologists offer the possibility of attending to their patients through the Internet, by video call or similar. Therefore, depending on your needs, decide if you are looking for only one of the two ways of attending therapy, both of which are good, depending on the circumstances. This step to find a psychologist has to do with what we will see below.
4. Make a first selection of psychologists
If you are interested in face-to-face therapy, you can specifically search for mental health professionals who work in your neighborhood or city, either in your own practice or psychotherapy office, or at home. For this, a very useful tool to find these professionals are the directories of psychologists.
You can also search Google, although in this case it may cost you a little more to compare.
At the beginning, it is good that you look at two fundamental criteria: price and location (the latter especially in case you are not interested in online therapy).
5. Make sure you have the official titles to exercise
Check that the people you have selected in the first sweep have their numbers of collegiate in the Official College of Psychologists in your country, which will ensure that they have made the training that enables them to exercise psychological intervention in clinical settings or health.
6. Check your specialties
Do not look only at what the person says to specialize: check that you have the graduate degrees that have given you a basis of experience and theoretical foundations in those clinical areas. Keep in mind that the courses and workshops can be a single weekend, while to receive the Expert title many more hours are necessary, and to obtain a Master’s degree you have to invest in it for at least one year.
7. Choose a few professionals and ask
In this last phase of the search, you can learn more in depth about the services offered. If you have doubts, which is likely, ask, but choose well what you are looking for answers and ask your questions to the point; reading great texts in which someone who is not a client describes their problems and looks for answers to everything is not to anyone’s taste and, in any case, your problems can only be explored in depth in the evaluation phase, in the first sessions.
So, from this last step, you should already be able to choose.