How to choose a psychologist

If you’re going to have psychological therapy, finding the right psychologist is very important. Research indicates that the type of therapeutic relationship you have with your psychologist has a big influence on the effectiveness of the treatment. So it is vital that you find a psychologist who:


  • listens to and respects you
  • helps you to feel comfortable and at ease
  • you can trust to talk to about difficult topics
  • will work with you on the goals you have
  • is good at communicating with you and explaining things
  • offers a treatment approach that suits you

It is worth doing a bit of research before you make your decision. You may want to talk to your GP or to friends for some personal recommendations.  Check out the psychologist’s website, find out about their interests, experience, therapeutic approach and values. Look at their photo. Have a think about whether this person is someone you can work with.

Sometimes it is useful to choose a psychologist who has had similar experiences to you. For example, if you’re struggling with parenting issues, you may prefer to see a psychologist who is also a parent. However, it is important to keep in mind that as psychologists it is not necessary for us to have had the same experience as you in order to help you.  We have knowledge and skills that can help. Our job is to work with you, as the expert in your own experience.  After all, you are unique – you are the only one who knows what it is like to think and feel as you do.

What if I’m not happy with my psychologist?

Perhaps you have seen your psychologist for a few sessions and you feel like it is not going well. You don’t feel able to open up, or you feel that your psychologist isn’t really understanding what you are trying to say.  The reality is that not every psychologist is the right fit for every person. And that is OK.  It is better to deal with it, rather than persist when it is not working, or drop out of therapy.

At the Northwest Psychology Practice, our goal is to make sure you see the right person – the psychologist who is going to help you. You don’t need to worry about upsetting or offending your psychologist. From time to time, we all have clients who change to see a new psychologist. This is a normal part of the process of finding the best psychologist for you.

If you would like to change your psychologist, talk to us. You can talk to your psychologist, call and speak to Nicki, or give us some confidential feedback.

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