Have you recently felt stressed out, tired, and run down? Have you worked hard to overcome problems, only to notice they feel insurmountable and that they never seem to get better? Today’s working world can be stressful and overwhelming, and coupled with other common issues–such as children, family, and debt–it’s not unusual to feel as though the stress just won’t go away.
While many are quick to head to the doctor to address physical issues, too few know that high levels of stress can lead to physical ailments. And even fewer take steps to routinely check their mental health or even take care of issues that have been nagging them. Your mind is a powerful instrument, but it too can get run down, similar to overworking a muscle. This is why more and more Canadians today are researching how to find the right psychologist for them, so they can be proactive about their mental health, allowing them to be active, happy, and filled with life throughout their years.
First, one must ask what a psychologist is. Not to be confused with psychiatrist, a psychologist provides counseling and therapy but cannot usually prescribe a type of medicine. A psychiatrist often has a degree in medicine, but a psychologist will have a doctorate in counseling and therapy, and often must pass regulations on top of this. They work to help people understand their thoughts, feelings and emotions, and often help people work through them to either change them or modify their outlook. As all counseling and psychotherapy is a joint effort between patient and psychologist, any good psychologist works hard to create a comfortable, supportive setting and relationship between themselves and the patient.
Thus, when searching for the right psychologist for you, the key thing to look for is your level of comfort. This often involves speaking with the psychologist, sometimes numerous times, to learn whether or not you feel this is someone that you can trust with details of your life. Once you have discovered and researched the psychologist’s experience, credentials, and licensing and found that to be satisfactory, establishing this level of trust is the next and likely biggest step in your road to improving your mental health.
Asking specific questions of the psychologist will help you on this journey. Consider questions such as: I’m having so-and-so issue, what experience do you have in dealing with this? What sort of treatments, techniques, and practices have you used in the past? How long have you been practicing, and where does most of your experience stem from? How flexible are your hours? Are you easy to reach in case of an emergency?
The answers to these questions can help you decide if this psychologist is right for you. Once you have decided that this therapist is someone you are comfortable with, it becomes a question of what sort of issue you are trying to fix. Being open with your psychologist, and indicating if your feelings are of depression, hopelessness, anger or many others will help that psychologist in creating a therapy plan for you. Most patients report feeling better in eight or so sessions, and many more report significant changes within a few months. In the end, if this psychologist isn’t working for you, it’s best to be open to tell them as well. In the end, finding the right psychologist is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health.