Psychologists offer help if you are confused about your feelings and emotions, or if you need help coping with everyday life activities with which you must face. Psychologists can help dramatically if you are confused about your feelings by dissecting into your emotions and then offering advice. If you feel like you have to talk to somebody besides family or friends, there are psychologists who are trained and professionally experienced enough to offer adequate help.
Most psychologists are not only good at what they do, but are good people. They can give valid advice. When determining if seeking help from a psychologist is best for you, it’s important to put some thought into it and consider all your options in order to make the appropriate decision for your situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when determining if seeking services from a psychologist will address the help you are seeking:
1. Determine theoretical orientation.
Looking at a psychologist’s credentials and competencies is important, but it’s more important to research their theoretical orientation. Theoretical orientation is the philosophy they intend to use in order to help you address your problems. You want to find a psychologist that will address your problems appropriately, therefore determining what field they specialize will help you receive the right help.
2. Feel at ease.
It’s important for you to feel comfortable and at ease with the psychologist you choose. You want to be calm and relaxed in order to talk to your psychologist about the issues in life you are having trouble dealing with. Without a comfortable environment, your focus will not be with the psychologist; consequently, you may not receive the appropriate help you were seeking.
3. Reevaluate your first session.
Usually in your first meeting, it will basically consist of gathering information from you and your psychologist. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive advice on the first day; the psychologist needs to first assess your problems and evaluate what will be the best way to help you address them. Furthermore, this is the time to also ask any questions you might have about their experience or their philosophy, to reassure yourself that you are in the right place.
4. Calculate your budget.
Calculate your finances and determine how much you can spend on this service. Most employers offer health insurance to their employees, which may cover mental health services. If you have health insurance, verify if you can obtain these services. If you do not have health insurance, you might consider looking into psychologists who work under sliding-scale fee policy: the fee you pay is based on your income. There are also government-sponsored health programs for which you can apply, or you can seek help from a community health center.
5. Confide all your trust.
Give your therapist all your trust and confide them with every detail of your problems. As a patient you have the right to expect total privacy of all information disclosed in your sessions. You should be given a “Patient Rights” agreement by your psychologists, contractually reassuring that your information will be secured.
From my personal experience during my time of grieving, psychologists were irritating; a person who is cynical and relatively emotionless was not the person I from whom I wanted to receive help. In my opinion, my temporary psychologist was unable to address my problems according to my expectations. I felt she simply could not understand that I was a happy, functioning, human being. I just had nothing of value to share, which she interpreted as a display of discomfort. Psychologists can be helpful or irritating; you have to research and determine which psychologist will provide you with the right help for which you are seeking. You should make the right decision for you and your circumstances. Remember, however, that there are other options you can consider, if help from a psychologist doesn’t seem appropriate for you.