How to Find a Qualified Psychologist


Those who have never seen a mental health provider may not be familiar with how to find one who suits their individual needs. Because the selection process can be a bit overwhelming, one should follow certain tips in order to simplify the task. Below are some essential facts about how to choose such a professional:

Determining what type of mental health provider one needs is the first step in locating the most appropriate individual. There are many different types of professionals in this particular field. These include licensed professional counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers.

All the aforementioned individuals are licensed professionals who diagnose and treat mental or emotional disorders. Most have advanced training and education, or a Masters degree in an appropriate field. They must meet specific licensing requirements prior to offering such services to the general public.

The type of professional individual chooses depends on his or her disorder or condition. Most providers offer treatment for broad range of problems, but a specialist may be appropriate in certain cases, depending on the individual’s needs. For instance, someone who has bulimia are anorexia nervosa may be better suited to a licensed counselor who specializes in eating disorders than a psychiatrist.

If a person wishes to resolve family or marital conflicts, he or she should consider a family therapist or marriage counselor. Generally speaking, the more severe ones symptoms are, the more training and expertise he or she needs to look for in a qualified professional. In certain cases, a client may need to speak to more than one provider in order to get the full spectrum of care necessary to treat his or her disorder.

It is also important to determine whether or not medication, counseling or both are needed. Not all professionals are allowed to prescribe drugs. A family doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant or psychiatrist can prescribe medication. A licensed counselor, social worker, or psychologist can provide counseling. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to see more than one professional.

It is also important to speak to a representative at once health insurance company in order to determine which benefits are covered in which must be paid by the client. Most insurance policies provide a list of providers for which only a minimum co-pay is necessary. In certain cases, Medicaid and Medicare may pay for a person’s sessions and medications with a mental healthcare provider.

When choosing a provider it is important to ask several questions. These include details about the exact type of services each professional offers, as well as his or her licensing, training and education. It is also important to find out about the providers approach and philosophy regarding emotional or mental conditions.

One should not hesitate to ask as many questions as he or she deems necessary in order to choose the most appropriate practitioner. Finding a suitable match is crucial to establishing a firm relationship and getting the most benefits out one’s counseling sessions or appointments. For this reason, this decision should never be made in haste. Finally, those who feel they need help with selecting a mental health provider should speak to their primary healthcare practitioner.