Modern Australian

How to Identify the Best Psychologist for You

There are more psychologists, counsellors and therapists than ever nowadays. It has become a highly prominent area in the wider field of medical practice and human well-being. Not all therapists and psychologists are medical practitioners in the traditional sense of the word, of course, but they all share a common goal of trying to make people better.

However, when it comes to choosing a quality psychologist in Melbourne for yourself or a member of your family, for instance, it can be tricky. How do you know who is the best psychologist or other practitioner to help you? Here are a few signs and helpful tips.

1. The Psychologist Listens Intently

There are some people who are critical of the idea of therapists that sit there and “just listen,” which while valid in some respects are missing a broader point. Qualified psychologists of course need to do more than listen, but that doesn’t mean listening is any less important. The best psychologist for you is the one who listens the most intently, and the most genuinely.

As the old adage says, we have two ears but one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak out. A good psychologist or therapist knows this well, and using everything they have heard will come up with positive, helpful and constructive advice when they speak.

2. You Feel Validated and Heard

Following on from the previous point, your ideal psychologist will listen intently enough to the point that you feel that they have taken your input seriously and are not dismissing your thoughts or feelings as anything arbitrary or meaningless. It’s important that you feel every session with your psychologist is a validation of your seeking them out in the first place.

We need to be clear here, we don’t mean that the best psychologist is simply the one who agrees with your own theories on what’s affecting you, but rather can reassure you that they have heard, acknowledged and understood what you’ve said, even if it turned out to be inaccurate and there was something else going on. Psychologists’ offices are not echo chambers.

3. They Help You Identify and Clearly Explain Your Issues

So many people know that something doesn’t feel right in their heart, but they are unable to accurately articulate what that problem is. If this sounds like you, then the best psychologist for you is one who will help you identify and then help explain what’s going on. They can help apply terms and more concrete concepts to these abstract and nebulous feelings that you have. That’s a positive first step to finding solutions.

4. They Appear to Have Tremendous Empathy

When looking for a psychologist to help you, a strong sense of empathy on their part is critical. If they are lacking in empathy, then they are likely failing to grasp what you are really feeling and may well offer less-than ideal solutions and advice. It’s true that some psychologists are more “clinical” in their approach, perhaps relying too much on visual cues and hard data alone and not quite getting into the nuances of what’s going on.

Those with a greater sense of empathy won’t have this problem. It affords them a better, deeper and closer understanding of patients’ issues and hopefully results in better solutions emerging.

5. You Feel You Can Trust Them and You Are WIlling to Open Up

Finally, you should feel quite quickly a willingness to open up and trust a psychologist if they are the right one for you. It’s not something that should be taking weeks and weeks to happen, even though people will naturally open up at different rates and speeds. If you “click” quite rapidly with the psychologist, take that as a very good sign.

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