Common Questions about Psychology (and Answers)
Q. How do I know when it is time to get help?
A. When the way you feel is affecting your sleep, your appetite, your job, your relationships. When you can't find the answers. When things are not getting better, or seem hopeless.
Q. How can I find a psychologist?
A. Gather information. Use the Find a Psychologist section of this website, or the Information and Referral service of your local psychological association. Check your local yellow pages, which may list a referral service for psychologists in your community. Talk to your family doctor or other health professionals. Consult the department of psychology at your local college, university, or community health center. Ask a clergy member, family, or friends who may know about individual psychologists.
Q. How do I choose the psychologist who is right for me?
A. Once you have the names of one or more psychologists, ask the following questions:
--Are you a licensed psychologist and how long have you been practicing?
--In what areas do you specialize (children, families, workplace stress, etc.)?
--How long do you expect my treatment to last?
--What are your fees and do you accept my insurance or HMO coverage?
Q. How will therapy work for me?
A. By helping you look objectively at behaviors, feelings, and thoughts and giving you ways to deal with different situations. Therapy is a collaborative effort; you and your psychologist will identify your goals, discuss what you want to happen, and agree on how you will know when progress is being made.
Q. What about confidentiality?
A. Your privacy is important to both you and your psychologist. All members of the California Psychological Association subscribe to a code of ethics that requires strict efforts to maintain patient confidentiality.
Q. How do I find out if my insurance covers psychological services?
A. Call your HMO or health insurance plan to find out exactly what is covered and what level of coverage you have. Ask if the full cost or only a portion of treatment is covered, what your share will be (copayments), and the limits on the number of visits, if any.