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Finding a Mental Health Professional

Updated on December 20, 2014

Finding Someone Who Will Help

The world is full of people with different viewpoints. When it comes to believing in going to therapy, there are those who find it helpful and there are those who find it unnecessary. Also while some try seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, some find it beneficial while others do not. However, there is nothing wrong with seeking help as long as you find someone you can trust and who listens.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve gone to a few therapists over the years due to my anxiety. While I would have liked to be able to handle it all on my own, there are times when I didn’t know where to turn and I felt it necessary to find a professional who would be willing to offer some guidance. I can attest to the fact that not every therapist has the same methods and that not every therapist is the “right one”.

When looking for a therapist or psychiatrist, there is some advice that I have to offer. For starters, look for someone who will listen to you and what you are trying to get out of seeing a therapist and/or psychiatrist. Also, if a mental health professional tries to pressure you to take medication or do something you do not feel comfortable with, you need to tell them. If you are offered an ultimatum, it may be time to consider looking for someone else to see. What I mean by an ultimatum is not a reasonable ultimatum, but an unreasonable ultimatum. If a therapist asks that you try your hardest to work with him or her to get through your issues, this is not an unreasonable ultimatum, this is what will help you improve. On the other hand, I have had therapists that have told me that if I don’t do something exactly how they want me to, that they cannot help me. The therapist I am thinking of would not even discuss the matter with me, they simply had to have it their way or no way. This person saw me one time and told me if I didn’t do exactly as they advised, they would not see me as a patient.

Additionally, it is important that the psychologist or psychiatrist you choose respects and listens to your thoughts, ideas, and issues. It’s essential that they respect you, the person they are seeing and that they do not harm you in any way; not physically, emotionally, or mentally. They may not always agree with you, but they should not treat you poorly. Also, you know what inappropriate behavior from a therapist is and you need to speak up if anything like this is going on.

I’ve had family members of mine say that if I’m experiencing not getting along with so many psychologists/psychiatrists then it’s because I’m not working with them or trying hard enough, this isn’t true. Not all therapists or all methods are right for everyone. People find that different methods work for them; everyone is different.

Remember, you need to work hard to get through anxiety or whatever issue you are seeing a therapist for. However, if you are uncomfortable with who you are seeing and you really feel you have good reason to stop seeing them, then stop! Psychologists and psychiatrists are there to help you feel better, not worse.

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