Getting started

What to consider when choosing a psychologist

Psychologists and clients work together. The right match is important. Research and clinical experience shows us that an important role in determining whether or not you will be able to work with a particular psychologist is your level of personal comfort with that psychologist. A good rapport with your psychologist is critical. Choose one with whom you feel comfortable and at ease.


Will seeing a psychologist help me?

According to a research summary from the Stanford University School of Medicine, some forms of psychotherapy can effectively decrease patients’ depression, anxiety and related symptoms such as pain, fatigue and nausea. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are closely linked and that seeing a psychologist can improve a person’s overall health.

There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions with a psychologist are far better off than individuals with emotional difficulties who are untreated. One major study showed that 50 percent of patients noticeably improved after eight sessions, while 75 percent of individuals in therapy improved by the end of six months.


How will I know if therapy is working?

As you begin therapy, you should establish clear goals with your psychologist. You might be trying to overcome feelings of hopelessness associated with depression or control a fear that is disrupting your daily life. Remember, certain goals require more time to reach than others. You and your psychologist should decide at what point you may expect to begin to see progress.

It is a good sign if you begin to feel a sense of relief, and a sense of hope. It is not unusual to experience a wide variety of emotions during therapy. The idea of having to discuss painful and distressing experiences during the therapy process may cause you some concern. However, when you begin to feel relief or hope, it can be a positive sign indicating that you are starting to explore your thoughts and behaviour.

Source: American Psychological Society: