4 Tips for Choosing the Right Psychologist

Therapy for adults

Talk based therapy shows great results in many studies. In fact, counseling and psychological services are the most recommended form of treatment for a variety of mental health conditions. It is important to remember, however, that successful counseling requires an experienced and well fitted psychologist. The psychologist that you choose will directly affect your treatment process. How to find the right psychologist? These tips will ensure that you know how to find the right therapist.

Understand your needs
First understanding your needs can help you make a therapist decision. It can be helpful to do a little research about mental health and the counseling process. Will talk therapy help you? Do you require talk therapy in conjunction with another treatment, such as pharmaceuticals? Sometimes, bringing up the concern with your primary physician can help you to better understand your needs. Additionally, finding a good psychologist can help you to explore your treatment options.

Choose based on knowledge and specialties
Similar to medical physicians, psychologists can be specialized in a specific area. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental disorder, it is important to choose a psychologist that is familiar with the treatment of this condition. If you are wondering how to find the right psychologist, keep condition and treatment in mind at all times. Some of the most common treatment expertises include obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, and marital problems. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older, or 18% of the population.

Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one third of those suffering receive treatment. There are a couple different types of therapy that benefit those with anxiety disorders, but you will need to find a psychologist that is familiar with them. Learning how to find the right psychologist is an important part of your treatment process.

Pay attention to updated knowledge
Simply choosing a psychologist that is familiar with the treatment of common mental disorders is not enough. Learning how to find the right psychologist also means finding one that keeps up with updated studies. As researchers and scientists learn more and more about mental health and what causes and treats it, the treatment procedures will also change. Currently, the therapy of choice is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is the idea of changing the way you think about things. CBT has proven to be extremely effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. With this newer treatment method showing such promising results, it is important that your psychologist is well versed in it.

Choose a multi treatment option
Studies also show that multi treatments have the best results. This means talk therapy, along with other treatments. For example, someone with anxiety might be encouraged to attend regular counseling sessions, while also participating in anxiety reducing activities for a specific amount of time every day. Mindfulness based stress reduction is a common recommended treatment to go along with anxiety and stress. In a small, NCCIH funded study, 54 adults with chronic insomnia learned mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), a form of MBSR specially adapted to deal with insomnia (mindfulness based therapy for insomnia, or MBTI), or a self monitoring program. Both meditation based programs aided sleep, with MBTI providing a significantly greater reduction in insomnia severity compared with MBSR. A multi treatment approach is generally the best option when treating mental disorders.

A lot of the stigma that once surrounded psychologists is being replaced by the advantages they offer to those with mental health conditions. Talk therapy, especially in combination with other treatments, is extremely effective in treating common disorders like anxiety and depression. However, it is important to choose the right psychologist. You will want to narrow down your options by understanding your needs, choosing one experienced in your diagnosis and updated treatment options, and one that uses a multi treatment approach.

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