6 Factors to Consider When Choosing Psychologist

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Are you feeling suffocated by the stress of daily life or struggling with depression and anxiety?

Choosing to seek out help for mental health issues is intimidating, but if you’ve made that decision then that is the first and most powerful step. 

The path to mental health and well-being is a very personal journey and it’s important to have the right person to guide you.

Choosing a psychologist should be something that is done with careful consideration to ensure the best possible experience. Here are 6 factors to think about when looking for the right therapist. 

  1. Experience & Expertise

This is more than just going online to find some references and reviews. You want to find a person with significant experience in psychology and the credentials to support it.

Finding a mental health professional that has experience in dealing with the problems you’re struggling with is important. Many therapists have a broad range, while some work in specific areas such as treatment for clinical depression.

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  1. Credentials

Find out what credentials they have, for example, a doctorate or counselor certifications. Psychologists need to be licensed by the state and their credentials are essentially the state’s stamp of approval.

  1. Cost

Unfortunately, this is an important factor. Therapy isn’t a once-off thing and takes a commitment which is oftentimes a weekly appointment over many months. To truly tackle mental health issues, you need to be able to commit. Which means you need to be able to afford it on a long-term basis.

Therapy can be pretty expensive. If you have private health insurance, check if you’re covered. If you’re paying out of pocket, this will influence your options for psychologists.

  1. Think About Your Ideal Person

Having a comfortable and open relationship with your psychologist is crucial for effective therapy. Think about the type of person you’d be comfortable with, are they male or female? Do they follow a certain religion or are above a certain age?

Consider whether there are some non-negotiable attributes. You’ll be covering a lot of sensitive topics in the sessions and you want to be as comfortable as possible.

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  1. Different Treatment Approaches

Different psychologists use different methods and styles of treatment. There will be methods that work better for you and your mental health. Do some research to learn about different approaches to treatment and see if there is one that appeals more to you. Are you more interested in an action-oriented therapist or analytic therapist?

  1. Follow Your Gut

Maybe you will find a therapist that ticks all of the boxes you’ve set out. However, your instinct should always be trusted. If meet your perfect-on-paper therapist and something feels off, listen to your intuition and find someone else.

Take Your Time When Choosing a Psychologist

You wouldn’t walk into the first hairdresser you see and trust them to do a complete makeover. Choosing a psychologist should be approached with the same careful consideration, if not more so. Take your time to find the right person for you. 

The psychology section of our site is filled with interesting information about mental health. Head over and check it out.