How should you choose a psychologist?
What makes someone a good doctor or therapist for one person might make them the wrong choice for another person. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists have different backgrounds and specializations. You should seek a provider who specializes in the type of difficulty you are seeking help for. If you are looking for someone to do an autism evaluation, you should choose someone who is experienced with autism. If you are looking for someone to assess a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), you should find someone with experience working with TBIs. Providers who specialize in a particular area are more likely to be up to date in the research and evidence-based strategies to help you.
Regardless of what type of treatment you are pursuing, evidence has consistently shown that the relationship a person has with their provider is one of the most important, if not the most important predictors of success. You should be comfortable talking to your provider, being honest, and feel like you are being heard. I have heard too many horror stories of clients who have had previous therapists who were dismissive of their concerns, judged them for their lifestyle or beliefs, or just did not alter their ‘standard format’ to be responsive to clients.
Do some research before you make a decision. Check out the websites of providers you are considering, and see if you can do phone calls or consultations to get any questions answered.
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