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There’s never a one size fits all approach to therapy, and finding a psychologist that clicks with you and your unique needs can be a game changer. Although searching for a psychologist can feel daunting, working with the right psychologist can make you feel on top of the world. 

If you’re thinking about connecting with a psychologist but don’t know where to start, or you’re wondering whether you’ve found a good match, explore some of the best signs that you’ve found the right psychologist.

1. They Make You Feel Heard

Being able to speak openly with your psychologist is one of the biggest indicators that you have found a good match. If you’re able to talk freely with them, it’s likely because you feel seen and heard. This isn’t only important in helping you engage with the sessions, but it helps your psychologist understand you better. 

Therapy sessions work both ways, and your psychologist should be attentive and engaged. Some key indicators that they’re listening to you could include: eye contact, not interrupting you, and remembering things you’ve told them in the past.

2. They’re Experts in Their Field

Psychologists may focus on specific fields, for example clinical psychology or sport psychology. If you have a specific issue you’re wanting to work through, make sure your psychologist has experience working with that particular topic. Most psychologists have a main area of expertise that they help their clients with. This could include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Burnout
  • Grief and Loss
  • Addiction
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Anger

Finding a psychologist who has experience working in areas you’re struggling with is really valuable. Online matching tools allow clients to search for psychologists based on the issues they’d like to work on. This is a great way to help pair you with a psychologist that best fits your needs.

3. Your Sessions Work Around Your Schedule

Availability is a really important component to finding a good psychologist fit. Be sure to find a psychologist who’s availability aligns with your own. For example, you might only be free in the evenings, or want to have your therapy sessions on the weekend where you don’t have to juggle work. 

Many psychologists offer sessions online which can be a really useful way to work therapy into your schedule. This also means that you can gain access to a psychologist who’s suited to you no matter where they are based in Australia.

4. You’re Able to Open Up

Having a solid line of communication with your therapist is a great sign that they are a good fit. Different psychologists may have varying methods of working. If you’re wanting to explore one particular treatment option, or feel like it’s time to try something new, it’s vital you express this to your psychologist and communicate things clearly.

You don’t need to be matched with a psychologist that’s similar to yourself in order to have a good connection. As long as you feel comfortable talking and being open with them, it sounds like you’ve found a good fit. However, some people prefer to work with a psychologist that speaks their language. This could mean finding a psychologist who:

  • Has come from the same background as you.
  • Speaks your native language. 
  • Belongs to the same community as you (such as religion or a fellow LGBTQIA+ member).
  • Has gone through the same life event as you, like grief or parenthood. 

While this isn’t by any means essential in a good client-psychologist relationship, online sites like My Mirror allow you to filter your psychologist search based on your preferences.

5. You’re Seeing Results

You won’t see a change overnight, but over time you should start to notice progress from your sessions. Your psychologist will assess your development, and establish whether your sessions have made a positive impact. A good way to know whether you’re seeing results is when you develop a greater sense of self-awareness. Your psychologist should also equip you with the right tools to make meaningful changes to your life, which is another great indicator you’ve found a good psychologist.

Sometimes, they may readjust accordingly if they feel progress could be better made using a different technique or treatment method, which can be a good sign that they are actively invested in the success of your treatment. 

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What if You Don’t Find the Right Fit?

If you don’t feel like you’re making progress with your psychologist, don’t worry. Not everyone finds the right match first time. Sometimes a psychologist’s therapy style doesn’t gel with your own expectations, and this can be down to a few different factors. 

We caught up with Rahul, a psychologist at My Mirror, who shared some advice on how to foster a great client-psychologist relationship. He explains that “if your psychologist isn’t the right fit, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad psychologist. They might not suit your personality, and most psychologists understand that. Communicating this is important so you can find someone better suited to you”.

Discover some of Rahul’s top tips for a more successful client-psychologist match:

Be clear about what you’re looking for in your sessions

“Be very open from the beginning with what you’re looking for.” This can give you both a clear direction and align your psychologist with your own goals or expectations. “Your psychologist might not know what you want, and they should be open to changing their approach.”

Communicate if your psychologist is moving too fast 

“Some psychologists are more direct and may challenge more than you like. All psychologists should challenge you to some level and provide you with things to do outside of the sessions, but if you feel like you’re being pushed too far outside of your comfort zone be sure to let your psychologist know.”

Don’t be afraid to share your feelings

“Be open to discussing what you don’t like throughout the therapy.” It’s ok to explain what you do or don’t like about your sessions, and to be honest if there’s something you’re not happy with. Your psychologist will want you to feel comfortable with them, so “if you don’t feel heard then you may need to find a change. It’s ok to change and be very open with your psychologist with what you’re not happy with.”

Finding the right psychologist is an important step in your mental health journey. Remember, therapy is a collaborative process, and finding a psychologist that works for you could be the key to unlocking successful psychology sessions. 

If you want to discover who your perfect psychologist match could be, browse through our diverse team of experienced psychologists and find someone to work with today

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