Archive for September, 2009

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Finding the Best Psychologist in New York City for Your Needs

We all want the best. For most of us, the idea of ‘the best’ is something that has been ingrained deep into our heads from a very early age. We strive to be ‘the best’ in school, in sports, at home and at work. So, why should we demand anything different when it comes to a New York City psychologist? We all deserve the best in the business. So, how can you determine whether you are getting the best psychologist in New York City? The question of the best all comes down to the individual. When getting advice from friends about therapy, your mate may suggest you see Dr. Smith because “he’s the best.” But is he the best for you? And how can you really know for sure? In order to determine this, you need to look at the following three factors:


First and foremost, what type of therapy are you looking for? While some therapists will prefer the standard analysis and lay you down on their couch, others will choose to speak to you in a more casual environment. Think about the talks you have had with your friends and family- what makes you feel best? Do you prefer to vent on the telephone while someone occasionally says “uh uh”? Do you prefer to express yourself through letters or email? Or perhaps your best talks have occurred during cocktail hour, coffee breaks or long walks on the beach with loved ones. It’s important to look into your individual relaxation style. Many people avoid therapy sessions because they think it will be too Freudian; however, there are methods of therapy that step outside the box and off the couch. Perhaps these would be more suited towards your lifestyle and your goals.


Second of all, ask yourself what type of person you feel comfortable talking to. Are you looking for a friend or a father figure to help you with your problems? Do you want someone who uses a passive or active approach? Do you want someone who is direct and confronting or someone who allows you to do all the talking (and discovering)? The best therapist for you is one that you feel comfortable with. Sensitive types often prefer a more passive approach to therapy while go-getters often want someone who can push them to their limit.


And finally, take an in depth look at what’s bringing you to therapy in the first place. Do you feel like your life is lacking something but are not sure what it is? Or do you have a specific problem and need to talk to an expert on the matter? Many people will choose therapy as a way to tackle certain problems related to a mental illness such as anxiety or depression. Others are looking for help with their weight loss journey or overcoming grief from a death or divorce. Others still are battling addiction or self-esteem issues. Whatever the case, the best New York City psychologist is one who knows your problem inside out and has proven methods of overcoming these issues. When choosing the best Manhattan psychologist for you, ask about their previous experience working with your condition. If you are unsure about what’s really upsetting you, then look for someone with experience in all aspects of therapy.


In addition to finding the best therapist in Manhattan, you need to do your daily homework. Here are a few simple starters to self improvement. Start with these three tips this week and see the difference the little changes in life can make:


Get up twenty minutes early: start your day off right and find some time in the morning to actually enjoy the day. Enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. Take a few extra minutes in the shower or take a fifteen minute walk around the block. Most people start their day off on the wrong foot- either late or in a rush. By getting up a little earlier, you are eliminating that morning stress and enjoying a little ‘me’ time before tackling another day.


Keep (and follow) a schedule: having a set plan can help you accomplish more. Whether you have a jammed packed day ahead of you, or are simply looking for ways to pass the time, knowing what you need to do (and when) is the best way to keep control of your tasks and make the day run smoother. Take every chore, whether it is around the house or at the office, one step at a time.


Do something completely new: today is the day that you finally take that step and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Sign up for cooking class, schedule an appointment to go sky diving or buy a book to learn a new language. It may seem a little silly at first, but learning something new will keep your mind active and improve your sense of self worth.


Keep in mind that the best psychologist in New York City is not necessarily the most educated, the most experienced and the most talked about on television; the best psychologist in New York City is the one that helps you assess your problems and then works towards breaking through these barriers. When looking for the ‘best’, always look within yourself before you look to the Yellow Pages.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

What to Look for in a Psychologist in Manhattan

When it comes to your mental health, not any psychologist in Manhattan will do. You want to ensure that you are choosing a psychologist that will connect with you emotionally. Therapy can be one of the most successful ways to ease your mind, body and spirit of negativity surrounding all aspects of your life. From divorce complications to career confusion, from emotional instability to confidence issues, it’s important to understand that a psychologist can help you break through those self barriers and reveal a new you.


However, when it comes to choosing a psychologist, it is not usually as simple as flipping though the yellow pages and going with the boldest, brightest ad. It’s important to do a little research before starting out in therapy. This is because, although the journey to self improvement starts with you, the right psychologist can ensure you are on the correct path. They can provide comfort along the way and offer advice when you come to a fork in the road. Inevitably, the road to self-satisfaction is an individual journey but having a mentor can make all the difference in the world. Below we have listed five tips when hunting for a Manhattan psychologist.

  • A Question of Technique: When it comes to choosing the best psychologist for your needs, make sure you weigh your options carefully. Look for a psychologist who values the same ideas as you. There are several different ways to treat patients. Check out their website, testimonials and intentions to discover some of these techniques and values. While some patients prefer to work one on one in a standard office, others would prefer a more unconventional setting, such as outdoors. While some patients prefer to use the traditional methods of analysis, others like the step outside the boundaries. It’s completely up to how you react to certain situations and what you feel comfortable with.
  • Credentials: The question of education in psychology is somewhat debatable. Although we all know that knowledge is power, this does not mean you need to seek out someone with a Doctorate in Psychology. Most professionals will charge based on their credentials. There are two important factors to consider when it comes to ensuring your psychologist has the proper credentials. One is whether they have had any formal training. It’s important that all psychologists and social workers obtain an education from a respected (and accredited) college or university. The second critical factor is if they are licensed or not. Psychologists and social workers should be licensed by the state they are practicing in. Always ask for a licensing number before you start your session. Those with a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree will be licensed in order to become a ‘psychologist’. Clinical social workers will have an L.C.S.W number in front of their degree. Make sure you always ask about their licensing level as well as any additional associations or organizations that they are a part of.
  • Experience: Although many clients find success with a psychologist who is straight out of school, most would prefer to choose a psychologist in New York who has at least ten years experience in the profession. Your chosen psychologist should feel comfortable and confident providing you with guidance; often this degree of comfort is only attained through experience. Many patients will ask their psychologist about previous experience working with their specific condition as a way to see if they are a good fit.
  • The Financial Aspect: As mentioned above, many Manhattan psychologists will charge based on their credentials. Although money should be no object when it comes to your mental health, it often is: after all, how can you work towards a stress free life when the overdue bills continue to pile up? Most health insurance companies will offer a limited number of therapy sessions to their members. Check with your current insurance company to see the fine print. It is standard to offer 8-12 sessions with constant monitoring from the insurance company. Then, once your progress has been assessed, the insurance company will either authorize continued treatment or not. Of course, there are many cons that come with using health insurance to pay for your therapy sessions. For one, you are losing that confidentiality as your insurance company now has the right to audit your sessions. If you are worried about the finances involved in therapy, it is best to choose a therapist in Manhattan that accepts all insurance carriers. Out-of-Network providers allow you to claim your sessions back at the end of each month and offer a little more freedom and security when it comes to your mental health.
  • The Level of Comfort: Keep in mind that, when it comes to your mental health, it’s important that you are moving forward, not backwards. Everyone is different and it’s important to find the right fit. If you feel uncomfortable with your current psychologist, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to take a different approach and step away. Feeling comfortable with your psychologist is the first stepping stone towards a more confident you.
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