At some time in our lives, most of us may feel overwhelmed and need help dealing with our every day problems. According to the National Institute of Mental Health in the USA, more than 30 million North Americans need help dealing with feelings and issues that seem beyond their control — problems with a relationship, a family situation or dealing with work concerns, the death of a loved one, depression, anxiety, stress, burnout or addictiion. Those losses and stresses of daily living can at times be significantly debilitating. Sometimes we need outside help from a trained professional in order to work through these problems. Through therapy and/or treatment, psychologists help millions of people of all ages live healthier, more productive lives, and psychologists in Victoria BC are no exception.
Consider therapy if…
You feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of helplessness, hopelessness, or sadness, and your problems do not seem to improve despite your best efforts and help or support from friends and family. You are finding it difficult to carry out everyday activities: for instance, you are unable to concentrate or focus on your work, and your job performance is suffering as a result. You worry obsessively, fear the worst, or are constantly on edge. Your actions are harmful to yourself or to others: for instance, you are abusing drugs, drinking too much, or becoming overly argumentative and aggressive.
What is a psychologist and what is psychotherapy?
Psychologists in Victoria who specialize in psychotherapy and other forms of psychological treatment are highly trained professionals with expertise in human behavior, mental health assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and behavior change. Psychologists work with clients to change their feelings and attitudes and help them develop healthier, more effective thinking and behavioural patterns. Psychologists apply scientifically verified procedures and techniques to help people change their thoughts, behaviours, and feelings. Psychotherapy is a collaborative process between an individual and a psychologist. It provides a supportive and safe environment to talk openly and confidentially about issues and feelings. Psychologists consider protecting your confidentiality extremely important, and will inform you of those rare circumstances when there are limits to confidentiality.
How do I find a psychologist?
To find a psychologist in Victoria, ask your physician or other health professional for a referral, or call your local or provincial psychological association. Consult a local university or college department of psychology. Ask family and friends. Contact your area community mental health center or hospital. Inquire at your church or synagogue. Call your local Crisis Line. Or, browse the internet… especially in directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Cylex, Hotfrog, etc..
What to consider when making the choice
Psychologists and clients work together. The right match is important. Most psychologists agree that is an important factor in determining whether or not to work with a particular psychologist. Once that psychologist’s credentials and competence are established, ask yourself if your level of personal comfort with that psychologist is a fit. A good rapport with your psychologist is critical. Choose one with whom you feel comfortable and at ease… someone who you can talk to.
Questions to ask
Are you a registered psychologist? How many years have you been practicing psychology? I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.) and I’m having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of issues? What are your areas of expertise — for example, working with adults and couples? What kinds of treatment methods do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my particular problem or issue? What are your fees? (Fees are usually based on a 45-minute to 50-minute session.) Do you have a sliding-scale fee schedule? What types of extended medical do you accept? Will you accept direct billing to or payment from my extended health provider? Are you affiliated with any psychological organizations (like College of Psychologists of BC)? Do you have a cancellation policy?
Credentials to look for
After graduation from university, psychologists spend an average of five years in graduate programs before receiving a doctoral degree. As part of their professional training, they must complete a supervised internship in a hospital or organized health setting and at least one year of post-doctoral supervised experience before they can practice independently. It’s this combination of doctoral-level training and practical internship that distinguishes psychologists from many other mental health care providers (including counsellors). Psychologists in BC must be registered by the College of Psychologists of BC (CPBC). Registration requirements and provincial laws are intended to protect the public by limiting registration to those persons qualified to practice psychology as defined by health legislation. In most provinces, renewal of this registration depends upon the demonstration of continued competence and requires continuing education. In addition, CPBC members adhere to a strict code of professional ethics.
These are all points to consider when choosing a psychologist. But, and most importantly, the most important factor is feeling comfortable in a one-to-one situation. The process of psychotherapy is an intimate one, and you should feel a safe and open connection with your psychologist. Most will consent to a free consultation if you request one to determine if you will feel comfortable with him or her. Choose wisely… your mental health depends on it!
. . . .Monday 8:00am - 10:00pm
. . . .Wednesday 8;00am - 4:00pm
. . . .Friday 8:00am - 10:00pm
. . . .Sunday 9:00am - 10:00pm
West Bay Marina, 453 Head St