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Psychotherapy session, woman talking to his psychologist in the studio

Seeking Psychology Help for the First Time

It can feel pretty daunting seeking help with a psychologist for the first time.

What if the psychologist judges me or thinks I’m crazy?

I don’t want to tell my story. 

What if they can’t help me?

These are just some of the most common barriers to seeking psychological help. Usually, this kind of doubt in the therapy process means most people tend to put off seeing a psychologist until they’re at their wits end.

Putting off seeing a psychologist is unfortunate for two main reasons:

  1. Mental health usually worsens over time without psychological intervention
  2. Fears that typically deter someone from seeking help are just fears and most people feel immediately reassured once they start the therapy process.

So, what does a psychologist do? And, how does a psychologist help? And, what should you expect from seeing a psychologist?

What does a psychologist do?

A psychologist is an impartial person who is able to understand on a deeper level why an individual, couple or family may be experiencing psychological distress.

A psychologists primary goal is to make their clients feel understood and comfortable. This means psychologists approach their clients with an open mind and free of judgement. Psychologists tend to be warm and genuine in the way they approach their relationships with their clients.

Most psychologists study to become psychologists, because they enjoy helping others and seeing positive change in their clients life. That is, psychologists genuinely care about your wellbeing. Psychologists also work hard to build a strong working relationship with their clients via providing care, understanding, warmth, hope, helpful guidance and support.

How does a psychologist help?

After a psychologist gains a shared understanding of why an individual, couple or family are experiencing psychological distress, they will work towards achieving treatment goals. Typically, a psychologist will form these goals in the first session with you.

Psychologists then utilise therapies and techniques to improve your wellbeing and achieve these goals. The therapies and techniques they use are based on substantial research and evidence of their effectiveness. Some of these interventions involve the psychologist sharing psychological theory and education with their clients or teaching coping techniques. Other time’s, the psychologist will help improve your wellbeing by using “talk therapy” techniques designed to shift your thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

What do I expect from seeing a psychologist?

You should expect to feel better in yourself, which usually entails feeling more confident, relaxed and happier overall. You should also expect your psychologist to empower you with tools and knowledge that will help you for the rest of your life. Finally, you should expect to form a strong relationship with your psychologist underpinned by trust and a sense of care.

Most people notice a difference in how they feel even after the first few sessions with their psychologist. In fact, even after the first session, people report feeling hopeful about change and relieved by sharing their story. However, if you’re doubting your therapy experience, it may be helpful to read blog post, How You Know You’re Getting the Right Psychological Help.

How does Peaceful Mind Psychology approach new bookings?

Since psychologists vary in their skills and style, we take the time to personally match you to a psychologist who suits your mental health needs and personality. We believe that finding the right psychologist will give you the best chance at achieving positive outcomes. Our intake support team provides our psychologists with brief information as to why you’re seeking help, so they are prepared to start supporting you straight away.

If you would like to seek professional support and start the process of feeling more confident and at peace, contact our friendly reception today via email or phone. If you’re unsure as to whether you should seek psychological support it may be helpful to read blog post, When to Seek Psychological Support.