When I should visit a mental health specialist and who should I choose?

20150728_113105The moment that anyone of us should visit a mental health specialist varies and has to do with many different factors. Additionally, a proper searching in order to find a proper professional for ourselves and our condition could seem difficult, but it is not as much complicated as many may think. Let’s see more analytically when someone should look for help by a mental health professional and which criteria should keep in mind in order to find him/her.

We need help by a mental health specialist when:

– Some problems remain and continue existing in our lives for some time and a possible solution cannot be found

– We feel that we cannot move further with our lives, we cannot move on

– We experience lack of our (physical, mental, emotional) functionality in our everyday life

– We have intense symptoms of sadness and anxiety

– We feel that no one of our close people can help us with the difficulties we experience

Which criteria should we keep in our minds to search for a mental health specialist:

Usually most of the people that want to speak with a mental health specialist ask their friends or relatives if they can suggest a specific professional. If no one of your social environment can give you a serious suggestion about a specialist, then probably it’s time to start your careful search by yourselves. Don’t worry, it’s not so complicated as you may imagine. Just focus on specific criteria during your searching. In general you should check inside resumes of mental health specialists the following information:

– A mental health specialist should have a Psychology Degree by a reliable University or another certificate by an accredited organization.

– If you need a medication prescription then you should look for a psychiatrist who will have completed medical studies.

– Any kind of master studies or further certifications and specializations in various domains (e.g. psycho-therapeutic methods) give us further information about a specialist’s knowledge and the therapeutic methods he/she may apply to clients.

– If you are looking for a psychologist then be sure that you choose someone accredited and with a license. Of course in every country laws are different regarding psychologists’ licenses so you probably need more specific search in order to see what are the rules regarding psychologists and their licenses in every country (or you can always ask directly the mental health specialist that interests you regarding his/her professional license).

– Try to learn by reading a specialist’s resume about his/her professional experience and methods he/she applies.

– Since you will contact a professional you have the right to ask him/her some basic stuff regarding the whole procedure of support or therapy (in order to understand completely what you are about to commit). It would be good if a mental health specialist will give you in short details what he/she expects from you and how much time (if it can be scheduled) your sessions may last.

– Salary of a mental health specialist should be clarified from the beginning so the future client will be informed approximately how much a specific number of meetings/sessions will cost.

What happens when we figure out that the conditions between us and a mental health specialist we chose are not ideal?

The first you should do is to inform the professional you chose about your negative feelings. Do you feel uncomfortable with the procedure? Do you find unpleasant the methods that are applied to you? Do you experience fear or insecurity to share specific information with him/her? No matter what is the problem, a mental health specialist cannot guess everything that happens to you. Talk about your problems! Only by expressing everything that bothers you, you will possibly find a solution to your issues.

If you discuss with a mental health specialist about your negative emotions but the whole situation doesn’t seem to change during the next sessions, you could always start looking for another specialist. You are not obliged to spend the rest of your lives visiting a specific professional, especially if you consider him/her as not appropriate for you. So, try to find someone with whom you will easily feel chemistry and don’t waste your time with sessions that don’t satisfy you.

Of course, you should always remember that trust and a good relationship with a mental health specialist cannot be created and improved in one-two meetings/sessions as usually it takes time. Moreover, patience, hard work and discipline are demanded during the whole procedure both from a professional and a client.


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