When to go to the psychologist? How to cope with the first visit and how to make the most of subsequent visits and what to do to successfully complete your treatment? What to expect from a professional and what should we know before facing a therapy with a psychotherapist?
Psychological therapy or psychotherapy is usually based on a personal interaction between patient and professional as part of a treatment to overcome some discomfort or to generate some personal change in the desired way.
Psychotherapy is useful against disorders of different nature and can be used against disorders such as depression, anxiety problems, in order to solve addictions, or even to modify thoughts, behaviors or behaviors.
Psychological therapy focuses mainly on improving the well-being and mental health of the individual through direct and confidential treatment between professional and patient.
The normal thing is that psychological therapy takes place in person between patient and specialist, but sometimes it can also be done remotely, by videoconference or, sometimes, in groups.
There are many types of therapy. Some may have minor differences between them, while others may be psychological or ethical concepts or make use of totally opposite techniques.
When to go to psychological therapy?
Although most therapies today focus on your current thoughts, this should not lead you to believe that going to psychotherapy is simply about "talking about your problems." The professional will also provide you with tools to work with so that achieving your achievements is not only possible, but also faster and less expensive.
Psychotherapy can help you better understand the state of your mental health, define and successfully achieve objectives and goals, but it is also useful to face those fears that bother you so much, insecurities, regulate stress or overcome traumatic experiences from the past.
A psychotherapist can also help you to differentiate what is inherent in your personality from what is simply a modifiable attitude; You will be able to understand what are the triggers of those behaviors that you would like to modify or establish a healthy routine that has a positive impact on other aspects of your health.
But a psychological therapy is useful beyond whether you discover that your partner is cheating on you or if you have lost confidence in some aspect of your life. Even if you are looking to improve your social skills to create or strengthen your friendships, with your partner or with your work, psychology therapy can help you.
What types of therapy are there?
Mainly, psychological therapy is usually divided into two large groups that are crucial to know from the beginning:
- Evidence-based psychology. It makes use of the evidence, the product of rigorous research in terms of design and execution, to optimize the decision-making process from the point of view of medical practice.
- Psychology as pseudoscience. They are usually presented as real science. It makes use of sentences, beliefs or practices that are claimed to be scientific but that, in reality, are incompatible with the scientific method.
For example, the methodology that many psychologists follow is based on 4 main scientific dimensions: evaluation, explanation of hypotheses, treatment and follow-up.
Evaluation. The first step in making a therapy work is knowing the issues that are important to the patient. Different tools are used (interviews, tests, questionnaires ...) that help the professional to delve into the root of the problem.
Hypothesis. Once the pre-evaluation is completed, it is the step of conveying to the patient the key points about the nature of their consultation. It is usually the most intense part for the patient, since it involves facing their main fears or anxieties, but it is essential to understand what their treatment will consist of.
Treatment. Through effective treatment, the patient is able to improve his knowledge of himself, as well as of what exists in his environment that may be causing the sensations that motivated him to seek the help of a psychologist. A work hand in hand, between professional and patient, where the different strategies and approaches are discussed and analyzed that, through a variable number of sessions, help to settle any concerns that the patient may have.
Tracing. Once we have started or finished the treatment, it is important to maintain contact with the specialist to make sure that everything is going well. Through these additional sessions, it is possible to understand if we have taken the right steps in the right direction. An adequate follow-up will aim to control and optimize the tools presented in the previous point.
How to find a good psychotherapist?
If you do not have health insurance that includes assistance to psychological therapy, then you will need to find and choose a psychologist on your own. To do this, you need to be aware of a few considerations:
- Ask members of your family and friends.
- Ask your primary care, family or family doctor.
- Look on the Internet.
- Contact a mental health center in your area.
- Consult the psychology department of your city college or university.
- Locate a psychological association in your geographic area.
When selecting your psychotherapist, you will also have to take into account some questions that will allow you to make the best selection depending on what you need to solve and the expectations you place.
You will have to know if your potential psychotherapist:
- Accept new patients.
- If you work with men, women, children, adolescents, couples or families.
- If you are licensed.
- How many years have you been in the profession?
- What are your areas of expertise.
- His experience helping people with symptoms similar to yours.
- Your treatment approach. Effectiveness of your approach for your type of query.
- What are your fees and what are your collection methods.
- What kind of policies apply, such as when you miss an appointment.
These are just some of the issues that it is advisable to be clear before opting for one or the other professional. However, you should consult with him about any matter that interests you before choosing.
In addition, you can choose to look for a professional who shares with you any type of common point, such as religion or culture, for example. It is true that some specialists are more willing than others to share this type of personal information, but it is always advisable to try to get to know the person who is going to treat us well.