Thinking of seeing a psychologist?
5 Tips to find a great match
Even though seeking psychological help has now become quite common, it can be a daunting prospect when you embark on this journey for the first time, or perhaps after an experience with psychological therapy that wasn’t successful. In this article, we will share tips to find the best match in your search to find a Perth psychologist
Qualified Psychologist Perth
#1 Look for a professional that has appropriate qualifications
Psychological support can be an investment in your mental health.
Seeing a psychologist is becoming more common with over 2.5 million Australians a year seeing a psychologist. There are over 4,500 psychologists in Perth alone (1,200 of them are clinical psychologists).
When deciding to see a psychologist, it's helpful to find a professional that has the appropriate qualifications, training, professional registrations and also the right manner and style for you. It's helpful to feel comfortable with your clinician when you talk about uncomfortable topics.
Psychologist Training and Registration
In order to use the term psychologist, a healthcare provider must have had at least 4 years of university training (either a Bachelor of Science or Arts with Honours in Psychology or a Bachelor of Psychology). In addition, they will also have two years of supervised practice (their 'registration' period) under their belt. A Clinical Psychologist has had a minimum of six years of training at university plus a supervised practice period to become fully registered. All registered psychologists can be found on the Australian Health Practitioner's Registration Authority (AHPRA) website. All of the clinicians at J&R Psychologists in Perth are Clinical Psychologists and have had at least six years of training at university.
Experienced Psychologist Perth
#2 Check if their areas of interest and experience suit your needs
Most psychologists these days have a presence on the internet. This means you can read about any areas that they have a particular interest or experience in. Many psychologists will have experience in treating depression, stress and anxiety disorders (e.g., social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, worry/generalised anxiety).
Other areas of interest and experience you can search for to find psychological help include trauma (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), relationship concerns, eating disorders, psychosis, anger, perfectionism, low self-esteem, addiction, and insomnia.
Google psychologist Perth
#3 Location, location
Most people prefer to work with their psychologist in person in the clinic (rather than via telehealth), so the location of your psychologist is important. If you are in Perth and are happy to travel around the metro area, googling “psychologist Perth” will give you a long list of results. Suburb-specific, or 'near me' searches are a good way to go if you have a more specific location in mind.
GP referral for a psychologist
#4 Ask your GP, family, and friends
Manner and style
#5 Consider the therapeutic relationship
In addition to training and registration, we know that the therapeutic relationship is important. Research tells us that a good therapy relationship is one of the biggest predictors of success in treatment. It's important that you as a client feel heard, respected, and understood. It's also important that you and your psychologist are on the same page in terms of working towards the same goals.
Research tells us that if you are not feeling this by session 2 or 3, that the relationship may not be strong enough to support optimal outcomes, and the time may be right for you and your psychologist to have an open discussion.
Some questions to consider after your initial sessions with a psychologist:
- Do you feel hopeful after consultations?
- Do you get along with them?
- Did you feel that your psychologist genuinely wanted to help you?
- Can you be open with your psychologist?
- Can you ask them questions?
- Can you provide your psychologist with feedback about the consultation?
- Can you tell them if there is something you would like more or less of?
- Has your psychologist provided you with a plan for treatment so that you have a good sense of direction for the journey ahead?
What if the match isn't that great?
If you don't feel that you are working well with your psychologist, it’s ideal if you can let them know how you are feeling. Psychologists will always be happy to have an open discussion about the therapy relationship and how to improve it.
The therapy relationship does not always 'click' and it is not uncommon for a client to switch to another clinician. Your initial psychologist can help you find an alternative and can provide a handover summary to your new psychologist if you would find this helpful.
You might also like to read our information about getting the most out of your sessions with your psychologist.
- Black Dog Institute - free resources and support tools for those experiencing mental health concerns.
- Centre for Clinical Interventions - Perth based government service offering evidence-based treatment for depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
- Lifeline - 13 11 14 . Free 24 hour crisis support line.
- Headspace a free online and telephone service that supports people aged between 12 and 25 and their families going through a tough time.
- Kids Helpline A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
- Mindspot Clinic An online and telephone clinic providing free assessment and treatment services for Australian adults with anxiety or depression
- Beyond Blue Supporting people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide
- Relationships Australia A provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities