Leon C Pereira PhD
Clinical & Behavioral Psychologist
Professor
45-955 Kamehamema Hwy, Suite 401
Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
(808) 255-3618
ShrinkRap@BestMail.US
How should you choose a psychologist?
Learn what you can about the psychologist--from their website and other sources on the internet, your physician, a friend, etc. Look for a psychologist, with a PhD from a reputable school, who has experience treating the problems that you or your child has.

When you talk to him or her on the phone and during your first appointment, ask yourself if you feel comfortable with this professional. Observe whether the psychologist treats you as an individual or as a disorder. In other words, are you a human being or an abstraction to him or her. Note how knowledgeable the psychologist is, if he or she really listens to you, is attentive to your needs, and is willing to answer all of your questions. These factors will be significant throughout the course of therapy.


When should you switch psychologists?

If at any time, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable with your psychologist you should discuss this with him or her. One reason for discomfort is that in therapy you may need to talk about painful events in your life or accept that you need to change in significant ways. This can be especially difficult for parents. This is understandable. However, if you feel unhappy because of your psychologist's style you should draw this to his or her attention and be satisfied with the outcome of your discussion. If the psychologist adopts a high-handed manner, becomes defensive, or in some other way avoids the issue, you should switch to another psychologist.

You should also switch if you are unhappy with your psychologist's approach or the rate of progress. Depending on the nature of your, or your child's, problems and how long you have had them, therapy may take months or, for chronic problems, years. However, you should have gained some insight, have experienced some relief, and have observed significant changes in your daily life within a few weeks of starting therapy. If not, express your concern to your psychologist and if you are not satisfied with the response, you should change psychologists.

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