Choosing a Psychologist

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Choosing the right psychologist for you can be challenging. Discover optimal mental health support with our team of expert psychologists in Melbourne at The Three Seas Psychology Group. We have four locations that cover broad geographical areas across Melbourne – City (CBD), Inner Eastern (Richmond) Northside (Northcote) and Southeastern (Knox). Our psychology clinics are not in GP clinics. They are purpose-built for client comfort, confidentiality and easy to find. Choose The Three Seas Psychology Group for trusted psychologists in Melbourne committed to your well-being.

Our Client Connect Team is warm and always ready to help you in the search for the right psychologists for therapy. Contact them anytime throughout the week:

Monday – Friday 8:00am-8:00pm

Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm

(03) 9809 1000 or via email on

How to Find the Right Melbourne Based Psychologist?

Finding the right psychologist for you can be tricky. All psychologists bring their own methods, values, and personality to their care, so it’s important to find one that you click with. Similarly, it’s important that the therapist you choose is equipped with the skills to help you. Treatment approaches vary widely, from cognitive behavioural therapy to acceptance and commitment therapy.

If the first psychologist you see doesn’t feel right, don’t give up! Trial and error will help you to find a psychologist that allows you to feel seen and heard. Our reception team is happy to discuss the best therapist options for you. You can always provide your psychologist with honest feedback and feel able to ask them about their credentials and registration.

A Referral Source Can Help Find A Clinical Psychologist

When searching for a Melbourne psychologist, your GP’s referral is common but not mandatory. Trust your GP’s recommendations or seek referrals from friends, but consider crucial factors:

  • Their Mental Health: Choose someone whose mental health improved with a psychologist.
  • Shared Values: Ensure alignment on aspects like medication views for a suitable match.
  • Desired Experience: If your friend’s psychologist sounds promising, go ahead; otherwise, explore other options.

Remember, you do not have to go to the psychologist your GP refers you to, and you can ask your GP to refer you to a particular provider of your choice. If you prefer, you can find the right service or you can speak to them. Your GP can recommend a psychologist who will have an interest in your mental health and help you with a referral.

Ask Psychologists About Credentials and Registration

It is equally important that your psychologist is registered with a registration board. Unregistered psychologists may have been disciplined or lost their right to practice. Some may even be fakes, pretending to be professional when they have no formal training at all.  Some questions you may want to consider asking about credentials include:

  • Are you registered to practice?
  • How long have you been registered to practice?
  • Where did you attend university, and when did you graduate?
  • Have you ever been disciplined for professional misconduct?

Choose a Highly Experienced Psychologist

Choose a therapist equipped to address your specific challenges. In mental health, there are numerous conditions and treatment options, so prioritize experience in your therapist’s expertise. Opt for evidence-based treatments for effective care.

You may consider researching your condition to find out what the preferred treatment approaches are. As an example; eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), exposure therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, or psychoanalytic therapy are all highly effective in treating PTSD, so if this is what you present with, it is wise to choose a therapist familiar with these approaches.

Some therapeutic approaches have been discredited, and a few, such as primal scream therapy for example are dangerous. Take a few moments to Google any specific treatment protocols the therapist mentions. It allows you to assess how well you and your therapist will work together, in addition to affording you the opportunity to ensure that the treatment your therapist wants to use is efficient and safe.

Some important questions you need to ask prospective therapists or psychologists about their experience with your unique set of circumstances include:

  • What is your speciality?
  • Have you published any books or studies about my condition?
  • How many clients with challenges like mine have you treated in the past?
  • Did you complete any university level coursework specific to my mental health difficulties?
  • What is the most efficient way to treat my condition?
  • What do you do to stay up to date in your field?
  • What kind of results do your clients get? How long does it take to get these results?
  • For how many years have you seen clients with symptoms like mine?

Talk About Values When Doing Therapy

Therapy is an intensely personal undertaking during which you may discuss your innermost thoughts, your political beliefs, your religious ideals, and your goals for your life. Your therapist does not have to share all your values, but they must respect them.  Many people find that a therapist with values like their own is a good fit. A devout Christian, for example, may thrive under the care of a therapist who specialises in Christian counselling; using such an approach with an atheist, though, would be damaging and potentially unethical.

If any values are especially important to you, be sure to mention these at the beginning of your session. If for example you identify as a feminist, you may ask how this will affect therapy and whether your therapist is sympathetic to the challenges of dealing with sexism. When booking, clients who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community may like to confirm that their chosen therapist is an ally. You should work with a psychologist who respects your gender identity, pronouns, and sexuality.

Some questions you might want to consider asking include:

  • Does religion play a role in treatment?
  • What is your political orientation? Are you comfortable with mine?
  • Can you treat someone who does not share your values without forcing your values upon them?
  • What will you do if we have a disagreement?

Ask Psychologists About Treatment Options

Melbourne psychologists collaborate with you to create and adapt a personalized treatment plan based on your feedback and progress. Open communication is encouraged, allowing you to voice concerns and provide input into your therapy. To understand your therapist’s approach, ask about treatment modalities and how they tailor them for effectiveness. Regularly revisit the treatment plan and address concerns about progress or the need for medication.

Explore our couples counselling services for relationship-focused therapy. The therapy “interview” is ongoing, aiming to enhance your well-being without diminishing your self-worth. Assess the therapeutic process by gauging your comfort, feelings after sessions, and the therapist’s responsiveness to your concerns.

During initial sessions, evaluate the psychologist’s punctuality, office environment, staff friendliness, privacy, and clear financial policies. Ensure the therapist listens actively, refocuses discussions when necessary, and follows through on discussed topics, fostering a positive and effective therapeutic relationship.

Trust Your Instinct When Choosing a Psychologist or Counsellor

Trust your instincts when choosing a psychologist. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to stop therapy without apology. Consider the following:

  • Professional Boundaries: A good psychologist avoids initiating romantic relationships or sexual contact.
  • Reassurance: You shouldn’t feel obligated to reassure your therapist; their focus should be on helping you.
  • Confidentiality: Sessions should be confidential, and billing policies clear and upfront.
  • Clear Treatment Approach: Effective therapy is directive, progressive, and flexible. If your psychologist avoids essential topics, consider moving on.
  • Feedback: Good psychologists welcome both positive and negative feedback.
  • Lifestyle Suggestions: Psychologists may offer lifestyle advice to improve your health.
  • Referrals: Ethical psychologists refer you to others if they can’t provide necessary treatment, such as medication.
  • Values and Insults: Psychologists shouldn’t force values on you, insult, or diminish your values.
  • Accountability: Therapists gently hold you accountable, question behaviors, and offer alternatives.

Invest time in finding a skilled therapist for invaluable positive impacts on your mental and physical well-being.

Our treatment options can be conducted face-to-face with our trained psychologists in addition to other options such as online via zoom counselling, Telehealth and phone consultations.

If you have a concern and would like to speak with a private psychologist in Melbourne, call us today, and our Client Connect Team can answer any questions you might have. You can also Meet our psychologists via the link to find out more about the right therapist for you.



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