How Can I Find The Best Psychologist Near Me? Reviews, Treatment Options, And More

Updated April 23, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

Finding a qualified psychologist who suits your needs doesn't need to be a challenging and tedious process; however, you should still spend some time "shopping" for one you feel is the best fit for you. This article will discuss some methods that can make this process much easier for you.

What Is A Psychologist & How Do They Differ from Other Mental Health Professionals?

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You probably have heard many different acronyms or have seen various titles next to people's names and wondered what the difference is between them.

For example, if you have been searching around for a mental health professional, there is a good chance that you have seen titles such as LMFT, LCSW, LPC, and several others. However, none of these are psychologists.

The main difference between these different labels and a psychologist is that a psychologist has earned a doctorate, whereas the others have completed a master's degree program. The titles that indicate a psychologist that you will typically see are Ph.D. or PsyD. However, it's important to not confuse a doctor in psychology with a medical doctor or psychiatrist - these individuals will have an M.D. next to their names.

Psychologists also cannot prescribe medication, whereas a psychiatrist and a regular doctor can. However, psychologists and psychiatrists are two professions that can often work closely with one another for one common goal - helping patients with mental disorders. Therefore, it's common for a patient to see a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or mental health professional like a counselor or therapist simultaneously. [1]

Despite these differences, a psychologist and other mental health practitioners are still required to spend a tremendous amount of time earning clinical hours with patients to get the necessary experience helping others and getting licensed. Therefore, aside from specializing, there will most likely be some overlap with their skill set, and most will be able to diagnose mental health concerns.

Lastly, since psychologists have doctorate degrees, they are also often involved with the research side of things. They have had a major role in developing the treatment methods we use today and those that will eventually be used in the future.

For most people, however, a psychologist is often generalized and thought of as an individual who uses psychotherapy techniques to help people overcome the issues that they are facing. The rest of this article will discuss some ways that you can use to find the best one.

Read as Many Reviews As You Can

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It's safe to say that most people use the internet to receive information on just about anything in this day and age. Reviews are important for consumers, and trying to gauge whether you should buy a product online or deciding which restaurant you should dine at is some of the most common ways people use the internet to find the best things to spend their money on.

Doctors and mental health professionals all provide a service. Like any other business that provides one, more than likely, there will be some reviews that can help you understand how others felt their treatment was.

A simple query on your preferred search engine that asks "the best psychologist near me" or something similar should yield some results about the practitioners in your area that you can compare from.

Once you find a highly rated psychologist, you can contact them and ask them questions, confirming if you are making the right choice. Usually, a telephone number or email address will be provided that you can use to reach out to them and ask questions related to their licensure, areas of expertise, fees, and what insurance they accept. [2] This is also useful for getting a feel for their communication style.

Search for A Psychologist Based on Your Condition

One of the best ways to find the right psychologist for you is to find one who has experience treating your specific condition. However, you don't necessarily have to be diagnosed beforehand, but it can certainly be helpful.

If you are experiencing symptoms and think you may have a mental disorder, you can find a psychologist who can help diagnose you properly. [3] A diagnosis can be useful for helping you get the right treatment; keep in mind, medication will need to be prescribed by your doctor or a psychiatrist. A diagnosis can also validate and give you a label to explain what you are feeling and experiencing.

Whether or not you have received a formal diagnosis already or not, you can search for things such as "depression treatment near me" or "anxiety specialist in my area," and some results should appear for whichever condition you are inquiring about. Knowing that the person has successfully helped others in the same boat can be quite reassuring and let you know that you are in good hands.

Look for Specific Treatment Options

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In addition to narrowing your search for a psychologist who has experience helping others who have gone through the same things you are current, you can also look for one trained in using a particular technique.

Perhaps you were researching treatment options for your condition, and you found some methods cited as beneficial to what you are going through. For example, if you have been searching for treatment for depression or anxiety, there is a pretty good chance the words "cognitive behavioral therapy" came up as a recommended method for treating these conditions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is very diverse and can be used for several different mental disorders; however, the main takeaway is that you can search specifically for someone who knows how to use the technique you think will be the most effective.

Whether you are looking for someone trained in cognitive behavior therapy, marriage counseling, applied behavioral analysis, or any of the countless other techniques out there, you can find an excellent psychologist who is familiar with the method that you are interested in trying out.

Finding A Psychologist Based on the Age of The Patient

While you can find psychologists, who know how to treat conditions via specific methods, you can also become even more concise by looking for a practitioner specializing in certain age groups.

For instance, if you need a great professional working with kids with behavioral disorders, you will probably need to search for a child psychologist in your local area. While a general psychologist can be helpful, you can find those who are trained and experienced in helping those with problems that typically affect young people, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and reactive attachment disorder (RAD). [4]

On the other side of the coin, geriatric psychologists are an option for elderly individuals who may be struggling with issues that are associated with the aging mind, like Alzheimer's disease and dementia, in general. Psychologists familiar with working with the elderly are equipped to help older people keep their minds engaged and stay as sharp as possible.

For most people, a regular psychologist will be enough; however, locating one specializing in treating certain age groups can make a big difference for the course and outcome of the treatment. You may also have a gender preference for your psychologist.

Conclusion

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Hopefully, by following these tips, finding the best psychologist near you should be a painless process, and you eventually end up settling on one that suits you the most. Nonetheless, you can still use one more option to select, deciding between an in-person and online psychologist.

Both are equally skilled and credentialed, but choosing one is solely based on your preferences. Many people enjoy traditional sessions face-to-face with a psychologist; however, many people have also been going the online route for their treatment.

Receiving online services is a convenient and affordable way to get help, and you don't lose out on the interactiveness that makes in-person sessions appealing. At Regain, licensed and professional psychologists and other mental health professionals are available to assist you with any issue that you may be facing.

Like the "psychologist near me reviews" for practitioners in your area, you will also be able to see ratings and comments for online therapists as well, so you also have control of who assists you. You can also apply the same search-narrowing advice discussed throughout this article to find an online psychologist as well.

Take some time to read about the prospective psychologists you might be interested in and contact them to learn about their communication style to see if they are a good fit. Credentials are important in finding an excellent psychologist, but finding the one that resonates with you socially can also positively impact the entire treatment process.

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