There is a good chance you’re reading this article, because you have done one of three things in your search for a good psychologist in Melbourne:
- You have trawled the net and found yourself overwhelmed with all the potentially good psychologists in Melbourne.
- You have tried a psychologist or two in Melbourne and not “clicked”. Now you feel confused as to how to find someone suitable.
- You are not sure what to look for – perhaps you’re confused about what you need help for exactly or you don’t know what differs between psychologists.
Before we get started in helping you in your search for a good psychologist in Melbourne, it’s important to clear two things up. First, there are a lot of psychologists in Melbourne! Currently, it’s estimated that there are just over 6000 registered psychologists in Melbourne. Second, there are a lot of good psychologists, however, they each differ in their areas of expertise and style.
I believe there are five main things to consider in your search to find a good psychologist in Melbourne.
For a psychologist to be good, they need to make you feel comfortable, cared for and show you they understand your difficulties. You also should walk away from the session feeling hopeful that you will achieve positive change and confident in your psychologist’s abilities. For these things to happen the psychologist needs to possess the following qualities:
- Be able to empathise (not to be confused with sympathise, which requires the person to vicariously live another person’s experience). Empathy is an ability to understand and care about another person’s struggles without suffering alongside them.
- Be kind.
- Have training and skills in the area you are seeking help for (more on this below).
It is important your psychologist has worked with people before who have experienced similar difficulties (e.g. anxiety).
If you’re struggling to identify what your needs are, ask yourself: If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?
The answer to this question is probably what you are seeking help for.
This is very important, because if it is not convenient to see your psychologist, you will most likely cancel or miss appointments. This will greatly affect your therapy outcomes. Consider location, hours, and psychologist availability when searching for a psychologist in Melbourne.
Things to Watch for
A lot of clinics offer a matching session for the first session, where you meet with a psychologist to be matched with another psychologist. Personally, I think you are better trying your psychologist for the first session, and deciding whether they are right for you. This saves money and time.
It is also important to ensure your psychologist has experience in the area you are seeking help for. Some private practices will book clients in with psychologists that are currently available, as opposed to who is most suited.
The Personal ‘Must Haves’
In finding a psychologist, you may have some things that really matter to you. For example, you may not feel comfortable with someone much older than you or you may prefer a male over a female. If you also do not like a certain personality type in your personal life, chances are you may not like this personality in a psychologist. Therefore, it is worth considering what personality types may bug you.
Three Simple Steps
With the above considerations in mind, here are three simple steps to finding a good psychologist in Melbourne:
- Search for psychologists who are conveniently located and available. Note, avoid searching in google for “counselling in Melbourne” (read Three Problems with Searching for “Counselling in Melbourne”). You might like to ask your GP or friends for good recommendations.
- When you make contact with the practice, ask the following:
- Who are the most experienced psychologists in the area you need help with (e.g. anxiety)?
- What type of work experience do they have in this area?
- What is their therapeutic style? (look for descriptions that describe high empathy, such as: warm, caring, kind, empathic, understanding, insightful, nurturing)
- If you’re comfortable with the answers you have received, you can confidently make a booking. Otherwise, you can request a brief phone conversation with a potential psychologist before booking.
How does Peaceful Mind Psychology approach new bookings?
A psychologist will discuss with you over phone or email your needs with a few simple questions. They will then suggest psychologists based on your answers and explain their individual therapy styles. You are welcome to briefly chat to our psychologists before making a booking. If none of our psychologists suit your needs, we offer recommendations outside of our practice.
Melbourne has a great number of different psychologists and various clinics offering psychological services for individuals in and around the city, who are suffering from mental health difficulties.
When it comes to the best way to find a psychologist, Melbourne residents seeking help should keep a few things in mind. While considering the wide range of options, it can help to discuss these with a close friend, family member, your GP, and anyone else whom you trust. Someone you trust may be able to help you in your search for a good psychologist or offer you a recommendation.
It is worthwhile in your search for a psychologist, checking their type of experience or the clinics treatment focus. Most psychologists or clinics tend to be experienced in particular areas. Overall, psychologists are well trained and experienced in treating common issues, like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. However, for issues like eating disorders or PTSD, psychologists need to further their experience and training.
It is also very important that you like your psychologist. This sounds simple, yet often goes ignored. For therapy to work well, the relationship needs to be strong with your psychologist. Therefore, you need to consider your personal preferences when selecting a psychologist.
Consider the Psychologist’s Experience
Most of us think of psychologists in quite a general sense: As professionals who work with people struggling with mental and emotional problems. And whilst this is indeed what a psychologist does, it is worth remembering that most psychologists have focused their training and experience on particular areas of mental health.
Furthermore, the fact that someone is a professional psychologist does not mean they can help with absolutely anything related to mental health – many psychologists, for example, lack the training and experience required to help clients overcome eating disorders.
Ask around in your community, consult your GP and do some research of your own online to find psychologists in Melbourne who have focused their training and experience in the area you are seeking psychology help.
Consider and Understand Your Personal Preferences
Even if there is a local psychologist experienced in treating your mental health difficulty, you should also consider your personal preferences. If, for example, you’re a young woman suffering from low self-esteem and body image issues, you may feel more comfortable discussing these things with a psychologist who is fairly young and also female.
Here at Peaceful Mind Psychology, we offer a personal matching service when you call to make your appointment. We consider your needs and personality, and discuss with you who might be a suitable psychologist at our clinic. We recommend psychologists outside of our clinic if we don’t think we’re the right fit for you. In other words, we want you to find the best psychologist Melbourne can provide.
Finding the Right Melbourne Psychologist
Seeing a psychologist is a very personal thing. Each person has a unique life experience and their own personality and values. It is important to find a psychologist who is the right fit for you, as you will gain more from the therapy experience.
When looking for a psychologist, it can be helpful to have a clear idea of what you need. There are lots of psychologists in Melbourne, all who are very different, so it can help to know what you’re looking for.
A good place to start is to search for the best psychologists in Melbourne who are experienced in the area you’re seeking help for. For example, some psychologists take a special interest in postnatal depression, while others focus their work on treating addiction problems or eating disorders. It is also best to see a psychologist who is passionate about the area you’re seeking help for.
It’s also important that the psychology practice you attend is convenient for you. It’s best to narrow down your search for a psychologist by just researching clinical psychology in Melbourne and finding the clinics that are local to you. Equally, it’s important the psychologist you consult has availability at times that suit your schedule. There really is nothing worse than starting with a psychologist, and then not being able to get an appointment with them.
Finally, it is paramount that you “like” your psychologist. The relationship shared with a psychologist needs to be comfortable, so you feel safe and trust in the process of talking openly about your difficulties. Therefore, the psychologist you choose needs to fit with your personality. It’s helpful to reflect on who you like to spend time with in your personal life – what qualities do they possess? The answer to this question can help guide who you choose to consult.
If you feel unsure of whether a psychologist has the right style or experience/skills for your needs, it’s OK to ask to speak to the psychologist before consulting them in person. Most psychologists will happily talk to you for 5 minutes, so you can get a feel for what they’re like. If they can’t talk over the phone, you may like to make an appointment and use the first session to see if they’re the right fit.
To know if a psychologist is the right fit for you, it’s best to look out for three main experiences after your first session (and during the therapy process):
- Feeling comfortable and trust in them as a person and psychologist;
- Feeling well understood and cared for;
- Feeling hopeful, or at least more hopeful than you were
If you don’t feel these experiences, it’s worth either talking to your psychologist about how you feel or perhaps shopping around for another psychologist.
How to Find the Best Psychology Clinic in Melbourne
Tired of thinking, “where is a psychologist near me?” You can find a psychologist in Melbourne by following the above guidelines. Hopefully you will find a psychologist who perfectly suits your needs.
Peaceful Mind Psychology may be a good place to start – We would never claim to be the best psychology clinic in Melbourne (there are many amazing psychologists in Melbourne!), however, we can say hand on heart, we absolutely try to be the best!
Get in touch with a member of staff today if you’re interested in discussing how we can tailor treatment to your needs; and, if you’re feeling confident that we’re the right psychology clinic for you, making an appointment couldn’t be any easier and less stressful.
It can be difficult to find a Psychologist that is right for you. However, our Melbourne Psychology Clinic makes it easy for you: We personally match you with with one of our lovely and professional Melbourne Psychologists based on your needs and personality. We also offer psychologists who are professionally trained in Clinical Psychology and Child and Adolescents.