Just like your friends, psychologists come in many shapes, sizes, and personalities.
The standard psychologist will be a caring professional, but they are also human with flaws and views of the world that may differ from yours.
Their appearance could even rub you the wrong way.
It’s important to recognize this possibility. These characteristics could place an obstacle between you and feeling better.
Don’t worry about offending a psychologist by saying he or she won’t work for you because, for example, they remind you of your abusive ex-boyfriend. A psychologist is very aware of the proper environment being necessary for healing.
Some Guidance on Choosing the Right Denver Psychologist
With this in mind, let’s go over some of the ways you can identify the right psychologist:
- Check out their credentials. This is an obvious one. It’s important to make sure the therapist has the proper education and licenses. Also, at this point it makes sense to ask about payment. The following are suggested questions from the American Psychological Association:
- Is the therapist a licensed psychologist? How many years have they been practicing psychology?
- What are their fees? (Fees are usually based on a 45-minute to 50-minute session.) Do they have a sliding-scale fee policy?
- What types of insurance do they accept? Will they accept direct billing to or payment from your insurance company? Are they affiliated with any managed care organizations? Do they accept Medicare or Medicaid insurance?
- Look at the area(s) they specialize in. A big part of being comfortable with your therapist is knowing he or she can effectively assist in overcoming the conditions or problems you are facing. One way to get an idea of a therapist’s specialties is to view their web site’s service page. Most psychologists also offer an introductory session, which is kind of like a “meet-and-greet” to see how you and therapist will work together.
- Ask for a referral. If a friend or family member says they like the therapist they see, you are on the path to a possible winner. But, of course, don’t just take their word for it. Ask why they like the therapist. Is it because they are effective at treating their conditions, or is it because they are convenient? If it’s because the therapist is convenient, look elsewhere for treatment. The idea is to find someone who will be able to help you overcome a trauma or a difficult relationship. You only need a quick Google search if your primary concern is how long it will take to get to your appointment from your front door.
- Search directories and specialized websites. Psychology Today has an online tool to help you find a psychologist. The search is based on zip code and the list of results often includes a brief introduction written by the practitioner. Pay attention to this introduction. It can give you a good feel for the kind of psychologist they are and the climate of their particular practice. Take a look at their picture. That face is the face you’ll be looking at while in a therapy session. If you are apprehensive about looking at this person in an online introduction, chances are you will get that same uncomfortable feeling in person.
- Think about whether gender is important to you. Therapists are trained professionals, regardless of whether they are a man or a woman. Still, a male or female psychologist can make a difference. Are you more comfortable talking openly with one over the other? Do you have preconceived ideas about which gender would be able to understand your specific set of circumstances better? Whatever your preference, being comfortable and being able to openly communicate are of the utmost importance. So, really think about this one. You might learn something about yourself that you hadn’t thought of before now.
- Make a call. Don’t be afraid to reach out and call a therapist. A conversation can be very enlightening, providing you with a first impression that can immediately let you know if the psychologist is right for you.
If you are looking a therapist in Denver, I am available and accepting new patients. Contact Dr. Miles Meason for a free 30-minute consultation and let’s see how I can help you get past the obstacles in your life.