how to find a psychologist
Finding a psychologist can be difficult. There are a lot of them around and many use different approaches to treat different conditions. The following may be helpful when looking for a psychologist for yourself or someone else:
Ask for recommendations
Speak to your doctor. They will usually have a list of psychologists they refer to. Ask friends and family who you trust if they know someone too. Word-of-mouth is a common type of referral for psychologists.
Try to get a handful of potential psychologists. That way you can research each of them and find one that best fits for you. The Australian Psychological Society has an online directory of Psychologists practicing across Australia: www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist
Research their treatment approach
One thing to look out for when looking for a psychologist is the treatment approach. The therapy that a psychologist practices should be something that has been proven to work. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), for example, has been proven to be effective for many people suffering from conditions including anxiety, depression, and addictions.
Research their special interests
In addition to finding out what therapy a psychologist practices, you should find out what their special interest is. A special interest is something that a psychologist spends a lot of time treating or assessing. A psychologist may have a special interest in anxiety disorders for example. This means they spend a lot of time assessing and treating different types of anxiety (e.g social anxiety, worry, phobias). Try to see a psychologist that treats a lot of what you want help for.
After doing some research on the psychologist(s) you want to see, call them or email them. Ask them about the problem you want help with, whether they help a lot of people like you, and the treatment approach they use. Don't expect an hour-long conversation, it’s good if they spend 5 or 10 minutes trying to answer your questions though.
It can take time to find the right psychologist for you. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t find one right away. Keep searching until you find one that fits.
Good luck in your search!