How to choose a psychologist? Tips and tricks

For whatever reason, you may need to go to the clinic, as they say. It is also said to go "see someone". But when you have never walked through the door of a therapist, when you have no idea about the criteria of our research, finding the "right" psychologist may seem even more difficult than the decision to go there. The "good" meaning the one who will understand us and help us.

What is a psychologist?

A psychologist is a professional, holder of a Master 2 acquired in faculty or school. He is highly qualified, expert in the fields of human behavior, mental health assessment, diagnosis, treatment and modification of thoughts and behaviors harmful to the person. Psychologists work with patients to help them develop more effective models. The psychologist provides a supportive environment for the patient to feel safe. Confidentiality is extremely important and is the first duty of the psychologist. The second main trait of the psychologist is non-judgment.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a set of interviews between a psychologist and a patient whose aim is to treat the problem in progress. The number of sessions is impossible to determine in advance, because too many parameters come into play. These interviews follow scientifically validated procedures to help patients change their thoughts, emotions and behaviors so as to remove the discomfort for which they walked through the door of a cabinet.

choose psychologist

When to go to a psychologist?

I noticed that the sooner you ask for help from a psychologist, the faster you leave him. In fact, the more the discomfort becomes anchored in thought and behavior, the more rigid and chronic this discomfort will become, difficult to resolve. Mental discomfort is still seen as weakness. And mental discomfort can still be close to madness … Now, in all my practice I have never met a "madman", just people who suffer at an instant T in their life, people who are disturbed, lost and who try to understand each other better to better manage their lives.

How to find a psychologist?

We can first ask around: doctors, family, friends. But we don't always want to let people know that we're looking for a therapist. So we can surf the web to find the person we are going to contact on our own.

Any method is good, having both advantages and disadvantages.

How to make the choice and the β€œright” choice?

You are going to strip your soul to a stranger. You will say more than what you say to yourself. You will feel strong emotions, bring back memories, dissect your thoughts, learn your beliefs …
Not easy! The criteria are therefore important, even before the first interview.

Ask questions

Define your problem and outline the portrait of your future therapist.

– Who do you want ? A man, a woman ?
– What age group do you prefer?
– Is it easy to go and consult it?
Also ask your complementary health if you have it because some offer a full or partial reimbursement.


To ask questions

The first information is that of the therapist's area of ​​expertise: adults, children, adolescents, couples?

Then there may come many questions that are of interest to you: which therapy does he most commonly use? How long is the interview? What is the price ? etc …

The first interview

This is the capital interview, the one that really will let you know if you have made the "right" choice. The first interview can not solve everything, of course (sometimes it happens, but it is rare), but this first interview will allow to install a common understanding on what makes the question, knowing that what makes the question does not is not the question that made you come, but what psychologically is causing your discomfort. An understanding that will make sense to you and the therapist and will guide the therapy itself.

This understanding will evolve as the therapy progresses because it progresses, because it is dynamic. But the first interview is the foundation of this understanding that some people call "therapeutic link" or "therapeutic alliance". If after the first interview, you leave as energized with the impression of having been understood, then there is a good chance that the therapist / patient alliance has laid its foundations and that the work will go towards the goal that you are given.
If you have not felt safe, if you feel you have not been fully understood, do not hesitate to continue and go back to your research. This therapeutic link is so important that it is not possible to miss it.


If you were to retain only one, I would very simply say that you can choose your psychologist by following your heart. Your gut. Because often instinct is the voice of the unconscious. It is therefore not necessarily necessary to set up a plan to choose the therapist. You decided to go see a psychologist, so go ahead. After the first interview, you will be free to review your choice or not.

Mary Gohin, psychologist in Lyon and Skype

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