How To Choose An Online Psychologist?

How to choose an Online Psychologist?

Choosing to go to therapy is a very important step in taking care of your mental health. If you decide to have the sessions online, you must take into account how to choose a professional who works in this modality and adapts to your needs.

Technically any psychologist, if they have the appropriate qualifications, is fully qualified to treat you. However, there are options that may fit you better than others. If you are able to recognize these characteristics it will be very useful for treatment, especially considering that psychotherapy is something delicate and sensitive.

And it is that Nowadays it is relatively easy to find online psychotherapists who offer their services by video call ; In fact, there are platforms that specialize in offering this type of services. But beyond that, you have to choose between professionals: even if all of them are good and duly qualified, there will always be one that adapts a little better to what you are looking for. And it is true that there are platforms like Psicología Plus, which offer assistance when choosing an online psychologist from among all those they offer, but it never hurts to add your own criteria to this selection.

How to choose an online psychologist in 6 steps

If you are considering the idea of ​​going to therapy or if you are already in treatment but want to know if your decision regarding the professional you are taking has been the right one, keep reading. Below you will find some criteria that will guide you.

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1. What is your training?

It is obvious that the professional must have a degree in the corresponding studies (currently a degree in Psychology). This is something basic, but it must be taken into account, since many people advertise themselves as “therapists” and have not completed psychology studies.

Then we have complementary type training. University psychological training offers possibilities in the clinical field, but also in other areas. It is desirable that your therapist has postgraduate training with clinical specialization (for example, a master’s degree), with internships included.

2. Are you registered?

Mental health professionals must be duly licensed. In this case, when it comes to knowing how to choose an online psychologist in, for example, Spanish territory, you have to look at whether or not there is membership in the COP (General Council of Psychology of Spain). You can find the membership number on their professional page, on their invoice, on their business card, etc.

This is not a mere whim, but something legal, which allows quality criteria to be standardized in the given service.

3. Are you a clinical or health psychologist?

On the other hand, and continuing in the field of legality, the professional must accredit the title of generalist or clinical psychologist, since the only legal way to treat patients is to have passed the PIR system (an opposition that includes years internship) or obtaining the title of general health psychologist (through a master’s degree).

Exceptionally, we find professionals who were practicing before the appearance of the regulations who, in this case, have been able to obtain their accreditation through professional experience, a postgraduate degree or therapeutic activity in a duly approved center.

4. How many years of experience do you have?

This is a plus that must be taken into account, despite not being a definitive criterion of quality. In general, for any profession 10 years of experience is considered excellence.

5. Do you have positive references?

Most mental health professionals are registered on professional search pages that also allow patients to leave their opinions. These opinions are a guide for people looking for a psychologist, since the testimony of a patient who has been treated by the professional in question is invaluable information. However, remember that personal differences between patients may mean that a therapy that works for one may not work for another.

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6. Internet Search

Google is a very easy-to-use tool that can show you a directory of psychologists in your town or the nearest one. If you search on the internet, we recommend that you do not consider the results marked in green too much, as they are advertisements. It is a positioning with an advantage that is the result of economic investments by professionals. Therefore, They say that they have invested in Google to appear first, but that does not necessarily mean that they are the most recommended for you.

Internet search robots are currently very complex. If a page appears among the first (and if the professional has not paid for it) it is because, among other things, it receives many visits. This can give you an idea of ​​the quality of their approach.

It is best to spend a few minutes comparing the various professionals that interest you; To do this, consider their background, what type of therapy they offer and other aspects that can tell you if it fits what you need. An example: if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, a professional who is a sexologist will probably not be the best one to help you.

Criteria to consider once in therapy

A professional’s assessment of whether it fits your needs does not end when you begin therapy. After the first session, you can continue doing it. Here we leave you some recommendations in this regard:

1. What questions does he ask you?

The questions that the professional asks you must have a therapeutic approach. It’s not about meeting a friend to talk; Therefore, pay close attention to what questions he asks you.

A good professional never asks questions to satisfy his curiosity, but rather to be able to construct a diagnosis and a therapeutic approach. For example, questions that revolve around your profession or the reason for a decision you have made can give you clues about your internal dynamics. But other questions like “what classes do you take at the gym?” and “what sports center do you go to?”, have no relevance.

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2. Does he talk about himself?

At no time is it necessary for the therapist to use his or her personal experience as an example. The main element of the session is the patient, not the professional. Yes, it can be functional for the therapist to make comments like “I clearly perceive that you are talking to me about this topic aggressively,” because They help the patient better understand what they feel. However, comments should never constitute a “vent” for the therapist.

3. Does he give you advice?

A therapist is not a friend who advises you. He is a professional who helps you understand your mechanisms and, therefore, decide what is best for you. If the professional gives you advice, it is as if he is “imposing” what he believes is best on you. On the contrary, a good therapist accompanies you by the hand so that you can discover it yourself.

4. Do you bring external information to the session?

Imagine that your therapist meets a person in your social environment who has information about you that you have never revealed to him or her in session. They cannot in any way share that information with you, since, when someone goes to therapy, they are limiting the contact to the consultation in question and the place where it is carried out.

Outside of these limits, your therapist has no authority to make judgments. Thus, if you meet your psychologist, for example, at the gym, in that context he is not authorized to practice as such, and of course he cannot use the information that he has learned in the sessions.

5. Do you maintain contact beyond therapy?

It is true that, if a lot of time passes, the patient’s relationship with the professional can become more trusting. However, the aforementioned and absolute neutrality remains the norm. Remember that the therapist is your therapist, not your friend, so seeing each other outside of the consultation goes beyond the professional line.