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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: How to Find a Psychologist Who Cares About the Outcome Of Their Patients



Thought for the Day: Somehow, September has barely started and I am busier than ever. Perhaps people are saying goodbye to the summer and determined to get their lives back into order. On Tuesdays I have been sharing psychology tips. Often I look back on tips or answers I have given on HealthTap.com. Since I have been very busy, I have not answered any questions for a while and decided to pay a visit and contribute some answers. One of the questions saddened me. The 26 year old woman who asked this question may have had some bad experiences in therapy in the past. When there are only 400 characters allowed it is hard to say all that I would have liked to but here I can say a bit more. Here's the question:



A 26 year-old female asked:
How do I find a psychologist or psychiatrist that really cares about the outcome of their patients?
Here's what I answered with a bit more than 400 characters...


Dr. Barbara Lavi answered:
Most psychologists
and psychiatrists care about the outcome of their patients' therapy. They go into the profession because they care about and want to help people improve their lives. When you choose a therapist, read their profiles on sites like HealthTap and PsychologyToday. Then call a few near where you live. Ask how they work. Tell them what is bothering you. Meet with the one you feel most comfortable talking to on the phone.

Do they seem to understand what you were concerned about? Did they ask caring questions? If they did not specialize in the area you need help in, did they suggest names of other potential therapists near you? 

Feeling a connection, even on the phone may be an indication that it will be a good match for you. Many therapists have multiple areas of expertise and if they feel like a caring person to you, you may want to work with them even if it is not their number one area of expertise. 

Once you meet with them, it is important that you feel they are interested and responsive to your needs. If it does not feel right, speak up. Talk about how you are feeling. If it does not improve, you can always consider working with a different therapist; however, first try to figure out why it is not working well. It may be what therapists call transference, which will help you learn something important about yourself and how you react to someone like the therapist. They might be reminding you of someone from your past so that you are transferring unfinished business with someone else onto the therapist. Working on these feelings may be the most important part of therapy you will do.

If you like this tip, you may want to follow me on HealthTap. Ask questions 24/7 from expert doctors nationwide.


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