When to seek psychological help
Making the decision to go to a psychologist, in itself is complicated, most people arrive with us after going through some traumatic event or strong enough to look for a change. Few are looking for us to simply improve their quality of life. However, when we recognize the need for psychological help, we choose quickly, without taking into account important factors that may be key in achieving our goals.
Therefore, it is important to clarify some aspects that can help you choose the most appropriate psychological help according to your needs.
1. Type of therapy
First and before starting the search, it is important that you identify that kind of problem there, in order to focus your search on a specialized psychotherapist; If problems are occurring with one member of your family and it affects everyone, you should look for a family psychotherapist; if it is a problem that affects your child, a child psychotherapist would be appropriate; If it affects a member exclusively, it would be convenient to be an individual psychotherapist, and if instead, you want to work together and share experiences with others affected by the same problem, you should look for a psychotherapist who works with group therapy.
2. The basis of therapy
During the first meeting, it is usual for the psychologist to establish the bases of therapy. Although you have not yet made an accurate diagnosis, you will have to indicate your fees, the number of approximate sessions and the work methodology to follow. These details will indicate your level of professionalism and his knowledge of your problem.
It must be taken into account that the duration of therapy depends on the patient's problem and the approach used by the psychotherapist. For example, it will be much easier to treat a fear that has barely arisen, than a phobia already established with which you have lived for several years. Similarly, it is important to know that therapies cognitive behavioral they offer faster results for a wide range of disorders and that psychoanalysis is usually a longer alternative. The psychotherapists who know how to apply the clinical hypnosis They also achieve excellent results in a short time. Therefore, when choosing a psychologist, find out about the approach it uses.
3. The diagnosis
Another of the points that you must take into account is the realization of the psychological diagnosis; if it doesn't apply to you psychometric test (questionnaires) or does not give you “feedback” on them, it is very difficult to make a diagnosis with precision, so it should be a factor that you should consider. Once you have these results you have to create a joint work plan in which both your goals, and those suggested by the psychotherapist are worked throughout the following sessions.
You should also take into account if you carry a medical records with your data and where you take note of all the activities that are carried out in the session; I personally do not trust those who do not keep records of their patients, no one can store data of fifteen people per month without making mistakes.
Take into account the honesty of the psychotherapist, in the event that the references To other institutions or to other doctors, is he able to say that he / she is not trained to take the case? Does he pressure you to assist with a certain doctor or specialist without giving you other options? Do you justify your mistakes instead of assuming them and carrying out solutions? Ask why these situations and make a decision, you can choose where and with whom to go.
5. Active role of the psychotherapist
Most people think that psychotherapy only consists of "telling your problems to the psychologist" during the 45 minutes that the session usually lasts, but, in reality, a psychotherapist not only listens, he must also speak, give you orientations, apply techniques and Indicate some exercises for you to do at home. Obviously, each psychologist works differently but it is important that you present a active paper and provide you with feedback.
Numerous investigations point to empathy as a fundamental characteristic for psychotherapy to succeed. Basically, the psychologist not only has to be able to put himself in the person's place to understand the reasons that motivate his behavior but must also experience, at least in part, his feelings. Only in this way is it possible to create a relationship that transmits confidence to the patient and makes the therapy flow smoothly.
Obviously, assessing the level of empathy is complicated, but if you feel comfortable at the first consultation and trust the psychotherapist to tell you your problems, it is because you have noticed, perhaps unconsciously, that it is an empathetic person.
Finally the proximity, comfort, facilities and costs They are also certain points that must be taken into account when choosing your psychologist, do not rely on extremely economical therapies, since the therapist's work is not only measured in the time and knowledge shown in the session, but behind From that, there are hours of study of each specific case, always looking for the best options for each patient.
Investing in a psychologist is investing in mental health and quality of life. What are you waiting for?
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