How to find a trustworthy psychologist/psychotherapist?

It's daunting when we realize we're vulnerable, that facing everything alone is hard, and life is challenging. When we recognize the need for help, the first step is to seek it.

How do I know a psychologist or psychotherapist can help me? In truth, this search is like taking a leap of faith. A leap into uncertainty. However, you can check a set of information that might provide more security in searching for this professional.

We're talking here about clinical psychologists and psychotherapists because these professionals are competent to help you through psychological intervention. A psychiatrist (without psychotherapeutic training) will help in a medical and pharmacological way. Since we're talking about psychological issues, sole pharmacological intervention becomes insufficient to address any problem or difficulty. It's important, first, to seek out a psychologist, and if there's subsequently a need for joint intervention with a psychiatrist, the psychologist will make that referral.

As a first step, you might look around you to see if you have someone you trust who has already received psychological help and try to find out about their experience. If you don't know anyone who has chosen psychological help, then the internet can be your friend and a plentiful source of solutions. Alternatively, in health centers, hospitals, parish councils, and associations, you may have various options.

There are clinical psychologists who are psychotherapists. It will be important to understand:

Professional training;
Credential recognized by the Portuguese Psychologists Order (OPP);
Training in a psychotherapy society and training in psychological support;
If they have a website: transparency, sufficient information, feel that the information is clear.
Check and inform yourself before choosing.

Beatriz Pimentel, psychologist and psychotherapist

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