One of the great doubts of those who have never had therapy is to understand how a consultation with a psychologist works. For some, this is a big mystery, but in this article we will help you to understand and also demystify some misconceptions.
First of all, it is important to start by deconstructing certain conceptions that people still have about what it means to seek help from a psychologist:
It doesn’t mean you’re crazy:
For many years, psychological illnesses were taboo. Nobody spoke openly about the subject, as it was considered ” crazy thing “.
Therefore, consulting a psychologist was not well regarded. Unfortunately, there are still those who think this way and it is necessary to overturn these conceptions, as they are often the ones that prevent people from going after therapy even when they need it.
It does not mean that you are weak:
Another false truth is the idea that having therapy means that you are unable to solve your problems and are a weak person.
Nothing like that! Seeking help from a professional to deal with your personal issues is not synonymous with weakness, but strength , because not everyone has the courage to show themselves vulnerable and expose their limitations.
It does not mean throwing money away:
There are also those who say that therapy is like “throwing money in the trash”. This is because, in an immediate society like ours, people seek magical and quick solutions to their problems.
Therapy, however, is a gradual process, which can take months or years, but it is certainly rewarding. There is no point in thinking that one or two sessions will solve all your problems because that is not how it happens – it is necessary to experience the journey and accept that the results will come in the medium or long term.
How a consultation with a psychologist works
Well, now is the time to go deeper into the dynamics of the sessions and understand how a consultation with a psychologist works.
What happens at the first appointment?
One of the biggest doubts is about what happens in the first session with the psychologist.
In this initial moment, the professional and the patient must know each other. It will be a light conversation, in which the psychologist asks basic information about the patient’s life: who he is, what he does, what he works with, etc.
In addition, you will also ask about the reasons that led you to therapy. Rest assured if you don’t know how to answer that question exactly, as the psychologist is there to help you understand your internal issues.
The most important thing is not to be afraid to say what you feel like, because therapy is a process that happens through conversation. Therefore, the more you can expose your feelings , the better.
It may be that at first you become more nervous or self-conscious, but gradually this should improve and the psychologist-patient relationship will strengthen. Take advantage of this time even to answer questions about how the sessions and the therapy process work as a whole – this is a way for you to feel more comfortable and safe.
The psychologist, in turn, will take advantage of this initial session to delve deeper into the reasons that led you there, assess your needs and the feasibility of the treatment to happen.
Remember that you are not required to continue sessions if you do not consider the appropriate professional.
What happens in other consultations with a psychologist?
If sessions continue, they should take place once a week and usually last from 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the professional.
If deemed necessary, the psychologist may also suggest that there be two sessions per week.
Punctuality is super important for the session to be profitable and the commitment of both sides is essential for making progress in the patient’s situation.
Don’t worry too much about planning what to say in the sessions , as the psychologist is responsible for conducting the conversation. It is important to feel comfortable and gradually create a bond of trust with the professional.
If you are feeling very anxious , it is worth even exposing this to the psychologist himself so that he understands what can be improved or modified during the sessions.
The sessions can be interrupted at any time, however, if you want to stop the treatment, it is important to reflect on the reasons and also talk to the professional about the causes of the withdrawal.
How much does a consultation cost?
This is a question that does not have an exact answer, as there are several variables that affect the price of a therapy session.
First, the professional’s profile and experience. Probably a new graduate will charge less than a psychologist with more than 15 years of experience, right?
Even so, it is important not to get too attached to prices, as they are not necessarily a seal of quality. Each professional has his own way of working.
In addition, there is another factor that influences prices. Are you choosing to conduct face-to-face or online sessions ?
The amount disbursed for online therapy is usually lower, since the professional has no travel costs and with the physical space to receive the patient. For you to have an idea, according to the Federal Council of Psychology (CFP), a face-to-face consultation with a psychologist costs around R $ 226.38. Not to mention their own travel costs.
Accept the process and be committed
For therapy to be truly effective, one must want to experience this process. It is very important that the patient does not go forced into the sessions, as this way he may end up not collaborating for the sessions to happen in the best possible way.
If you still feel blocked to experience therapy sessions, it may be a good idea to share what you feel with the psychologist himself, as he is able to help you see new perspectives on a certain point and clarify what is still confused in your mind .
How do I know if I need a psychologist?
Now that you know how a consultation with a psychologist works, it is also important to be clear about when it is important to seek the help of this specialist.
Before we go into the main causes that may result in the need for therapy, it must be stressed that you do not necessarily need to be experiencing a problem to do therapy.
All people can and should undergo therapy at some point in their lives , after all, we all have personal or professional issues to work on internally.
Even so, in some cases this need is more evident. Know some of the situations in which you should certainly seek the help of a psychologist:
- End of a loving relationship and you are not able to deal with the end;
- Feeling of loneliness and would like to have someone to talk to;
- Professional change;
- Personal change, such as marriage , children etc;
- Suffering in how to manage your high levels of anxiety and stress ;
- Loss of a loved one and is not managing to overcome the pain ;
- Change of country, state or city;
- Very low self- esteem and considers himself inferior in all aspects of life;
- Troubled and unresolved family issues in your life.