By Joe Peraino, Ph.D.
Ask friends and insurance carrier for names of reputable doctors.
Finding a good psychologist is easy. There are plenty of them and tend to be well-trained. They obtained a Ph.D., were trained in scientific methods, and therefore are going to use, for the most part, well-proven techniques.
One should ask friends, whose judgment you trust, if they know of any they would recommend. Ask your insurance carrier for a list of names. Once you’ve compiled 2-5 names, call them up and chat with briefly over the phone to get a feel of whether you’re connecting, a sense of whether they deal with your kind issues, whether they’re available at times you can meet. Little realized by the average person is that the quality of the working relationship between the psychologist and the client determines 50% of the outcome of therapy. The other half is technique. So, it’s important to “feel connected.” Once you’ve chosen who you feel is the right person, call the psychology board in your state to make sure they’re in good standing. Next, meet with him or her 1-3 times before officially committing to a longer course of treatment, if that is needed.
A competent psychologist will be open to evaluating your work together on a regular basis. A competent psychologist will also maintain boundaries with you, i.e., not develop a personal or business relationship with you outside the office.