Keys to choosing a good psychologist

Keys to choosing a good psychologist

It is very frequent that after taking a long time considering the need to have the help of a psychologist, finally and when we have decided to go to one of them, the following questions arise: What psychologist is the right one or right for me? Where do I look for it? Will you have enough experience to deal with my problem?

Here are some points that you should keep in mind when selecting a psychology professional:

  • There are many means by which you can access information about psychologists or health professionals and there is no exact formula for the chosen one to be right for you. In many cases, a psychologist can do well for a family member or friend, however, not fit with us. What is true is that a good experience in others means a point in favor in the difficult task of making this decision. It is vital that there is a good alliance between the psychologist you choose and you, but unfortunately you will not know this until you go to a first session. A good therapeutic climate and that you feel that the professional in front of you has been able to understand and attend to your needs will be the first aspect that you should take into account in the face of therapy. Confidence, feeling comfortable and safe with the professional who treats you is an important factor in value, otherwise the therapy will be conditioned.
  • Once you have selected a psychologist, either in the consultation itself or preferably before it, you should Find out if you have a degree in Psychology and if you have a collegiate number, because it is the obligation of the professional to be registered in any Official College of Psychologists (COP) of Spain. This information is usually on their website or in their own consultation, but if you want to corroborate it you can always consult it at the COP and thus make sure that the person who treats you is a psychology professional. It is important that when you call to make an appointment ask about the areas that the psychologist treats or in which he has experience because you should know that not all psychologists are prepared to perform treatments of all existing psychological disorders.
  • It is important that you know that, although there are few cases, there is intrusion in the profession, so you must ensure that whoever treats you is who you say you are and has the experience and / or training you need.
  • The sessions have a reason and are oriented towards the therapeutic objectives marked, therefore, The psychologist in each session must be clear about these objectives to follow.. The sessions are not only based on telling what you have lived in the week or in your life, but you should review and work on aspects thrown in tasks prescribed by the psychologist to your patient between sessions and performed at home. The involvement of the patient in the tasks requested by the psychologist is necessary, since therapeutic success does not start from just talking but it will be the learning of new skills and resources, as well as new interpretations of what happens to you, among other factors, the one that helps to correct what afflicts the patient, starting from the daily work and not the punctual one in a session of one hour per week.
  • Psychologists are professionals who evaluate, diagnose and treat problems. His work focuses on helping people so that existing negative or harmful behaviors or feelings are modified by more healthy or adaptive ones.. To do this, the psychologist should evaluate your problem (approximately 2 to 4 sessions) to, later, give you an explanation where you indicate what factors predispose and / or maintain your problems, as well as the personality traits that may be contributing to the themselves, etc. It will also teach and train you in new resources or skills that will allow you to achieve the proposed change goals.
  • Sessions, as a general rule, should have a duration of 50 to 60 minutes. Currently, many private insurances offer psychology services where consultations last from 15 to 30 minutes. The time factor is not the most important thing when the therapy is effective, but it is clear that performing an effective therapy in that short space of time becomes a complicated task.
  • The frequency of sessions in the early stages of treatment is usually weekly., although there are always exceptions depending on the needs of the patient. Later and as the treatment progresses, they are spaced biweekly, monthly, etc. Some psychological services offer sessions with a monthly and even bi-monthly periodicity, a fact that frequently makes a therapeutic alliance impossible, a control of the patient and as a consequence, an effectiveness in the treatment.
  • Something you should keep in mind is that Not all psychological therapies performed have scientific evidence, that is, not all of them have been evaluated by scientific experts, and therefore, there is no means to guarantee their success. Despite this, many psychologists carry them out. Cognitive behavioral therapy currently has great scientific support but it is true that other types of therapies are performed without this scientific evidence and that they also show positive results.
  • A psychologist is required by law to guarantee the protection of all data that you provide during the sessions and the detailed information in them, therefore, you must sign a data protection document.

Ruth Zazo Rodríguez, team of psychologists in Madrid from Psicoadapta