psychologist for anxiety

What to Look for on Deciding on a Psychologist

License, experience, and specialization are the three basic criteria you should consider while choosing a psychologist. He plays multiple roles in your healing process as a friend, counselor calgary , healer, and also a doctor. He should be able to understand your specific symptoms related to fear, anxiety, nervousness, phobia, unmanageability, and other factors.

Search for Specialists

License and Certification

Search for licensed psychologists. He should preferably have a doctoral degree to practice as clinical psychologist. Certification from the American Psychologist Association (or equivalent board of psychology in your country) is added credential. You can find the related information on the psychologist’s website or directory listing. You can make a list of such licensed specialists in your city, town, or province.

Geographical Location

Geographical proximity is a critical factor in choosing a psychologist. You may have to take multiple sessions within a short time (say within a week). Then you can’t afford to travel long distances which may add to your stress factors.


Taking referrals from your friends and social media contacts could be helpful, if they got the healing for the same problems which you have. For example, psychologist for behavioral disorders could be entirely different from a specialist in substance-abuse related disorders. It doesn’t mean referrals don’t work. You should go several steps ahead after taking a reference. Here are a few of them.

Online Testimonials

Online testimonials from healed or healing patients could be valuable. The recommended places are online forums, social media sites, and interactive psychology websites. You could get practical guidelines for choosing your psychologist.

Social Interaction

If possible, have a one-to-one chat conversation with the individual who wrote the online testimonial. For that you should go to the specific chat room dealing with your kind of psychological problems. Then you can get detailed feedback about the psychologist based on the personal experience of your contact.

Online Handbook

 Read an online handbook related to your specific psychological problems. You can identify most of the listed symptoms with your personal experience. Make a list of such symptoms which you experience every day. The list will be useful when you meet the psychologist for the introductory session.

Face to Face Meeting (F2F)

F2F meeting with the psychologist is the most recommended method of evaluation. It can dispel many of the myths and phobia you have about his principles and practices. You need to ask him specific questions to satisfy your mind about the probability /possibility of healing. Check for the licensing and certification credentials before you begin the conversation.

Talk about the symptoms when you meet people (especially strangers). Explain how you have faced problems in specific situations (on your date, interview, family /spouse interaction, etc). You can also tell him about the physical impact of psychological problems like shivering, nervous issues, palpitation, etc.

A specialized psychologist will listen to you patiently without interrupting. He will make notes of the conversation (sometimes he may also record the audio conversation. Don’t be sacred). Then he will recommend the solutions to the critical problems you face. His primary priority will be to make your every life manageable to a considerable extent.

·         Are you comfortable while being and conversing with him?

·         Does he answer your questions with patience and politeness?

·         Is he listening while you explain your problems?

·         What is the response time between your question and his reply?

·         Do you get an insight into your psychological problems while he explains?

·         Is he sympathetic or empathetic to your problems?

·         Is he able to understand your problems accurately?


Specialized psychologists know how to begin the conversation and make you feel comfortable. You get a feeling of comfort while conversion with him. Observe the ambiance in his consultation room. Professional psychologists maintain order in their consultation rooms. They are noise and sound proof. There is no cluttering and dirt. All the psychological testing tools are in order. As your mind relaxes, a sense of trust gets initiated about the psychologist.


A professional psychologist answers your questions politely. He has no restrictions or preconceived notions about sin, taboo, unscientific, idiotic, or other negative perceptions. His answers are practical. They neither endorse nor reject your thoughts. He gives you the practical solutions to your problems with no inhibitions.


Listening is entirely different from hearing. He can diagnose many of the exterior symptoms based on your explanation and your body language. Make sure you don’t avoid or hide any of the facts. Then you can observe how effectively he is able to respond.

Response Time

An experienced psychologist doesn’t rush with solutions. He weighs all the alternates before answering your questions. He may answer some of the simplest questions quickly. But he takes time to answer complex questions. He may ask you several questions about your experience and perceptions before giving you the answers.


Having a conversation with an experienced psychologist can reveal many of the causes related to your psychological problems. Though you may not see the solution in sight, there will a hope of getting it within a reasonable span of time.

It is the time when you start asking yourself many questions. It gives you an opportunity to analyze your behavior from a neutral perspective. If you feel the psychologist can put that sense of serenity within your mind, you can think of continuing your next sessions with him.

Sympathy Vs Empathy

 A true psychologist never shows sympathy. He may rather show empathy in the beginning to understand your perspective of the problem. He may differ from your opinion in many aspects. He will be honest in telling you that you are wrong.  At the same time he will be practical to make you evaluate the problem from a neutral perspective.


Understanding comes from listening, diagnosis, analysis and evaluation. You can observe such qualities in your psychologist within the first few sessions of consultations. Evaluate his approach and the healing you can experience. If you get the positive vibrations, you can think of continuing. Or you can restart your search.