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Finding a psychiatrist
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Finding a Psychologist

A clinical psychologist is a person who is well educated and well trained when it comes to helping people deal with problems and crisis situations in their lives whether they be emotional, personal, relationship oriented or work oriented. In his role as a counselor or therapist, a psychologist is expected to behave in a professional as well as ethical manner and is to make the patient feel as comfortable and at ease as possible to open up about their thoughts and feelings in regards to the situation at hand. A psychologist is required to be sensitive when it comes to the patient’s feelings and issues surrounding confidentiality and privacy should always be discussed right away upon visiting a psychologist for the first time.

What to expect

Many people are worried and apprehensive at their first visit to a psychologist because they have absolutely no idea what to expect. Before you even go to see a psychologist find out the background of a variety of available ones and then choose the one you feel will best mesh with your personality. It is important for a psychologist and a patient to have personalities that work well together and can communicate effectively, otherwise there will be too much tension and the patient is not likely to get much help from someone they cannot connect with. Interpersonal demeanor is an important issue for both the psychologist as well as his or her patient.

Know what you are there for

Make sure you are clear on what problem or situation brings you to the psychologist’s office and always look for someone who is specifically trained in the problem area of yours, whether it be depression, marital problems, an eating disorder, etc. Most psychologists will start a session by asking the patient some general questions about their life such as information about their background in regards to family, relationships and school/work and will inquire as to how the patient has dealt with problems when they have arisen in the past.

Just as the psychologist is there to ask questions to learn about you, feel free to inquire about fees, length of sessions, the psychologist’s availability and so on. When you answer a question the psychologist asks, turn it around and ask the therapist why he thinks you would be exhibiting said behavior or what could be the reasons for your thoughts on a given subject? The psychologist is a trained expert after all when it comes to personal matters so feel free to pick his brain as much as possible and it might very well be that you can help come to some of your own conclusions about the problems you are dealing with in your life.

Questions to ask the psychologist

At your first visit ask the psychologist about his qualifications and experience in helping people with problems such as yours. Ask how long he has been practicing and where he got his doctorate degree. Ask him as well if he is listed in the “National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology” which is a beneficial resource in relation to practicing psychologists.


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