Let’s say you have already had your first appointment with a psychologist (if you haven’t yet arranged an appointment, it’s worth reading How to Find a Good Psychologist in Melbourne).
If the session went reasonably well, you probably are going to return for a second session. After all, the last thing you want to do is search through the thousands of psychologists in Melbourne to book another “hope it works out” appointment. But it’s important to ask yourself, is this psychologist the best fit for you?
Here is why it’s important to find the best psychologist for you:
- The relationship is sacred. You hopefully will share things close to your heart. This may make you feel vulnerable, but if you trust your psychologist, you should feel safe and comfortable to share.
- You are seeing a psychologist because you want change. The best psychologist for you will be able to work with you to achieve your goals.
- Seeing a psychologist is not cheap, so you want to make sure it is worth your hard-earned money! Your time is also precious; an hour with a psychologist needs to feel productive and helpful.
So, what makes a psychologist the best?
They understand your needs. You are an individual; you have your own personality and unique difficulties. A good psychologist will listen (not ‘listen’ like chatting to a friend over a café latte – deep listening) to your needs, by: asking questions to gain an understanding; reflecting their interpretations and seeking clarity from you; and sharing deeper insights. When a psychologist takes the time to understand your needs, you will feel the psychologist really “gets it” at the end of the session.
Together, you create goals. There needs to be a shared understanding about where things are heading in therapy. It’s not about listing a set of goals (although you may like to do this); it’s more about having a rough ‘plan of attack’.
You feel comfortable. A psychologist who is best suited to you will make you feel at ease. It’s normal to feel nervous at times, especially when you start therapy. However, mostly you should feel comfortable to share your vulnerabilities with your psychologist.
You experience change. During therapy you expect change. This doesn’t have to be huge “life changes” (although this is truly possible with therapy), but can be small changes – for example, you may feel slightly more hopeful about life, or be crying a little less. Change in therapy is very individual and depends on lots of different factors – for some, change might occur after the first session, while for others it may take a few sessions or more.
You feel hopeful. After the first session with a psychologist, it’s important you feel a little more hopeful than when you walked in.
Hopefully you have come to the end of this list, and you feel satisfied about returning for that second session: You feel confident that your psychologist is the best fit for you. You might also enjoy reading How to Maximise the Help You Receive from Your Psychologist to get more out of sessions.
However, if you find yourself feeling uncertain, perhaps consider doing one of two things: 1) go along to a second session and speak openly about what you felt was missing from your last session. Psychologists are good at taking feedback, and will work with you to meet your needs. 2) try another psychologist. Sometimes finding the best psychologist for you is like buying a dress or suit: you need to try on a few, before you find one that perfectly fits.
How to Find a Good Psychologist in Melbourne provides some tips if you are going back to the drawing board.
How does Peaceful Mind Psychology approach finding the best psychologist for you?
We are a team of six Melbourne-based psychologists; all who are warm and professional. We each have different skills and experience. Peaceful Mind Psychology prides itself on making sure therapy is individualised to you. We approach new bookings by trying to match you with the best psychologist for you. We also offer follow-up telephone debriefing if you wish to confidentially discuss your therapy experience and/or be re-matched with another psychologist in our practice or externally.