Research studies consistently show that the relationship between a client and their psychologist is one of the most important factors in determining whether counselling will be helpful. In fact, the rapport that you have with your psychologist has been found to be more important than the type of treatment approaches the psychologist uses.
At Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology each of our psychologists are experts in up-to-date, evidence-based treatment approaches, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness and Schema Therapy. At the end of the day, however, scientific studies suggest that what’s more important than any of these specific treatment approaches is the match between you and your psychologist.
How do you know if it is a good match with your psychologist?
This is something only you can decide. Sometimes people find they get a gut feeling or hunch after their first session and other people prefer to give themselves time and space to decide how they feel.
When trying to figure out whether you “click” with your psychologist it can be useful to ask yourself:
- Does there seem to be mutual respect between my psychologist and I?
- Do I feel safe enough to talk about private, sensitive, painful or uncomfortable topics with my psychologist?
- Do I feel that my psychologist accepts me without judgement?
- Do I get the sense that we’ll be able to work together effectively?
- Does my psychologist have expertise in the areas that I’m wanting help with?
It takes time to build a trusting relationship with your psychologist (just as it does with any person). If you feel safe, understood and respected though, it is likely that you have found a psychologist who is a good match for you.
What happens when it doesn’t feel like the right fit?
Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel like the right match after a few sessions, as frustrating as this can be, don’t give up. We each have unique personalities, so we can’t possibly gel with everyone we meet. Although it can be a pain to have to tell your story again to another psychologist, in the long-run it’s better to find someone who you feel comfortable with than stick with someone who doesn’t feel right.
At Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology each of our psychologists understands and genuinely values the importance of finding someone you click with. We won’t be offended or defensive if you decide that you would like to try another psychologist. We think these discussions are important and pride ourselves on being open to feedback about the way we work.
If it doesn’t feel like the right match you can speak directly with the psychologist about how you feel and they can make suggestions in terms of who might be a better match (within our practice or at an external practice).
We also understand that sometimes those discussions feel confronting or uncomfortable, so if you don’t want to speak with the psychologist you’ve seen you can instead chat with our Director, Dr Jacqueline Baulch. Jacqueline is a clinical psychologist herself and makes it a priority to ensure that all clients find a psychologist they feel comfortable and confident with.
How we can help you to find the right match
We’ve created detailed biographies for each of our psychologists to help you with doing your own research. You can read through each of their profiles by clicking here.
Our profiles outline the psychologist’s educational background, experience, areas of expertise and their general approach to working with clients.
After reading through our psychologist’s profiles some clients feel ready to book a first appointment. Others prefer to gather more information before they make a decision. That’s where our experienced Support Team come in. We know that seeking help isn’t always easy and we’re happy to guide you through the process to make it as smooth as possible.
Our Support Team are here to arm you with information that will help you to find a psychologist who feels like a good fit. Things you might like to discuss with us include:
- A run-down of which team members have expertise in the areas you are wanting help with
- If there any particular therapeutic approaches, such as Mindfulness or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy that you want your psychologist to be experienced with
- If there any therapeutic approaches that don’t resonate with you and you would like to stay away from in sessions
- Gender preferences
- If you’ve seen a psychologist or counsellor before we can help you to nut out what worked well, and what didn’t work so well, so we can use this information to help with matching
- Whether you find particular personality types clash with your personality. For example, you might feel you gel best with people who are gentle, or perhaps you find it helpful to have someone be more direct with you
- Your general availability (days and times) and preference for location
- Any general questions you have about seeing a psychologist, such as what to expect in the first session, fees and Medicare rebates
Beware of “matching sessions”
Some psychology practices try to help clients to find the right match by doing a “matching session”. These psychology practices claim that their research shows that these matching sessions lead to better outcomes for clients. However, these claims are not based on objective research studies, just their anecdotal experience, which could potentially be biased. If you have a Medicare referral, this matching session also uses up one of the ten sessions you are allocated for the year.
We will help you to find the right psychologist for free
Matching you up to the right psychologist shouldn’t cost money. We believe this is a key part of the service we offer our clients, and we want our clients to keep their Medicare rebates up their sleeve for sessions with their psychologist.
To get started with finding the right psychologist for you, call us on (03) 9376 1958 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org