3 Steps To Finding the Right Psychologist For You

This is the first in the Brisbane ACT Centre’s two part series on finding a psychology practitioner that’s perfect for you. In this post we look at how to look for psychologists and choose between therapists. In the next segment we’ll explore what research shows makes for a great psychologist.

A wealth of clinical studies finds that psychotherapy is highly effective, and more and more modern research shows that therapy is at least as effective for treating depression and anxiety in the short term as antidepressants – without common side-effects. And psychotherapy is clearly more effective for treating depression and anxiety over the longer term.

There’s a huge number of skilled and qualified psychologists in Brisbane, so how do you choose the one that’s right for you? You’ll be working together with the psychologist that you choose, so it’s important to find someone that will be effective and the right fit for you.

  1. Word of mouth

For many people finding the right therapist starts by asking for recommendations from friends, family and their doctor. Asking people you know for a recommendation is a great way to find a capable therapist.

However some people won’t be comfortable asking friends and family for a psychologist recommendation, which is completely fine. Your own search for a psychological professional can be a very private journey.

You may also want to do some personal research instead of asking for a recommendation to choose the person that’s just the right fit for you. After doing some research you can discuss your options with your doctor, friends or family.

  1. Research

Use your favourite search engine to find websites for psychologists close to you. Look for the practical information that you’ll need, like how close the psychologists office is to your home or workplace, or if the hours are convenient for you.

Read how the psychologist describes themselves and their career, looking for clues along the way about if they’d be a good fit for you. Overall you should be trying to figure out if this is someone that you can be comfortable with. If the psychologist has a video talking about their work then use that as a way to figure out how comfortable you’d be working with them.

  1. Commitment to Understanding Modern Therapeutic Approaches

Behind the scenes the science of psychology is fractured, many psychologists rely on old and outdated therapeutic approaches that have been superseded by much more modern, evidence based approaches. It’s a good idea to look for a therapist that shows a commitment to learning, growing and being on the cutting edge of modern psychological science.

There are many schools of valid psychological science, we personally endorse Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (although we’re a bit biased!) because it’s an incredibly well researched and evidenced based approach to therapy. There are however lots of other schools of thought to explore, and provided the therapist shows that they’re committed to staying current in psychological research you’ll know you’re in good hands.

Summing Up

To summarize the first step to finding the right therapist for you are to ask friends and family (if you’d like a personal recommendation) and discuss with your doctor. Research the necessary practical information around locations, schedules and fees. Just as importantly research the more intangible information around how comfortable you would be with the therapist. And finally look to make sure that the therapist is committed to delivering the best possible treatment with the most modern and effective approaches.

Next week in part 2 in the series we’ll look at the characteristics that make an effective therapist according to scientific research. While you’re looking for the right psychologist for you take a look at our team at the Brisbane ACT Centre. Our entire team are hand picked for their warmth, professionalism and rigorous commitment to staying on top of the most effective forms of therapy.

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