When looking for a practitioner for yourself, a loved one, or your situation, it’s a great idea to research and ask questions. The following suggestions may be helpful in your search.
Does the therapist have postgraduate training in mental health?
Do they have expertise and experience with the issue/s you wish to work on?
Do they use a particular approach to therapy (e.g. CBT) or do they use an eclectic approach?
What are their fees? Are their fees rebatable through Medicare or your private health fund? Can you access the higher Medicare rebate? (Clinical Psychologists attract a higher rebate)
How long have they been in practice?
…(i.e. how long until you can have your first session and subsequent follow-up sessions after that). These and other considerations important to you will help you select a good fit.
When thinking about your choice, it’s helpful to be aware that change is what you are usually wanting when you go to therapy. And, change often feels uncomfortable. Changing attitudes, behaviours, or thought processes (whatever is keeping you stuck or distressing to you) can produce distress or anxiety because old ways often feel comfortable. A clinical psychologist will raise issues that might feel uncomfortable. This is a sign that the therapy is working. It is at these times that it’s important to understand that your clinical psychologist has your best interests in mind. So, when choosing a clinical psychologist, it is not necessarily the one who is nice, or feels the most comfortable, but the one who is willing to confront issues and support you through any distress you may feel as you develop new ways of coping, thinking and behaving.