Unfortunately it’s oh too common that people see psychologists and see little improvements! Typical experiences include:
“She was nice to talk to, but nothing much changed for me.”
“I was given lots of strategies, but they didn’t work for me.”
“We just talked, I felt like there was no direction.”
Most people after these experiences lose faith in the psychology profession, and are either: less likely to return for support; or keep seeing their “nice” (but unhelpful) psychologist in hope things will improve!
One thing is for sure though, if you feel any of the above experiences, you’re not seeing the right psychologist!! You’re supposed to be improving in your wellbeing when you see a psychologist.
First, psychologists are trained and skilled in therapies researched to work, and these therapies work well! Second, the approach at which they deliver therapy requires “counselling skills”, which create comfort, deeper understanding and connection with the therapist. Counselling skills are often overlooked as important, but are the essential foundations to good therapy and subsequent change.
Reasons things may not work well with a psychologist.
There are some common reasons a psychologist may not be suitable to you.
- They may not be skilled in the specific therapy for your issue.
- You might be a misfit in your personalities or styles of communicating.
- Your psychologist may be light on the use of counselling skills.
In your search for a good psychologist, it’s important to shop around. You may find a psychologist straight away, but you may need to try a few before you find the right person for you. To make your search easier, it’s worth reading How to Find a Good Psychologist in Melbourne. When you find the right psychologist, it’s a huge relief, as you know you’ve got someone in your corner who can help you.
How you know you’ve found the right psychologist.
Put simply, you will know. It just feels right! Sure, there may be a few sessions of getting to know each other and getting into your “groove”, but early on you will see the positive signs of seeing a psychologist who is well-suited to you.
Signs that your psychologist is right for you
The best indication that you’re seeing a good psychologist is to check-in with how you feel during and after your session. Overall, you should feel:
- Comfortable to talk openly. If you suffer from anxiety, you may naturally fear judgement, but overall you should feel more comfortable (than usual) to talk freely.
- Hopeful. When you leave the session, you should feel hopeful that you and your therapist will be able to sort things out. If you’re depressed, it can be hard to feel hopeful, however, your therapist can help you see some hope.
- Understood. It’s important to feel your psychologist “gets it”. This means you don’t feel alone in your problems. It can be a huge relief to feel someone really understands ‘you’ and your struggles.
(For further reading on the essential qualities of a psychologist, you may like to read How to Find the Best Psychologist for You in Melbourne.)
In the absence of feeling this way overall, it’s worth doing one of two things:
- Talk about your experience with your psychologist – they will most likely be able to adapt their approach to your needs.
- Try a new psychologist. But make sure to explain to the new psychologist what was missing from your previous psychological experience. This will get you off to a good start!
How Peaceful Mind Psychology ensures you get the right psychological help
We are a team of nine Melbourne-based psychologists; all who are warm and professional. We approach new bookings by matching you with a suitable psychologist based on your difficulties and personality. If you would like some professional assistance contact us at Peaceful Mind Psychology.