Psychologists assist individuals of all ages with a variety of conditions to improve their quality of life. Through psychotherapy, psychotherapists assist patients of all ages improve their sense of self, improve their coping skills, improve their relationships, lower their stress levels, learn better life skills, acquire new skills, and overcome their psychological vulnerabilities. Psychotherapy is the scientific treatment and prevention of psychological disorders in individuals of all ages. This type of treatment is based on the idea that our psychological health influences our physical health, and that positive psychological well-being promotes healthy physical well-being.
A psychologist will work together with you to determine the cause of your disorder, or disorders, then they will work together to provide you with a treatment plan that is right for you. During your first session, your psychologist will discuss issues with you that are causing problems in your life. During this first session you will be asked a number of questions to determine your level of psychological distress and how you perceive your relationships with your spouse, children, parents, friends, coworkers, or other social contacts. Your psychologist will want to know what kind of activities you enjoy doing, when you have difficult conversations, what makes you feel angry, anxious, depressed, lonely, or other emotions, what types of thoughts and feelings keep repeating in your head, if you have unrealistic goals and wishes, and how much time you spend thinking about your problems. The answers to these questions that you give to your psychologist during your first session will form the basis of your first treatment plan.
Your psychologist will use several tools during your first visit, such as a personal statement, personality assessment tests, cognitive tests, interviews, and observation of your behavior and interactions with others. Once your psychologist has received all of the information they need from you, they will begin testing you to see if there are any psychological issues that you may have. You may have to complete a number of psychological assessments, depending on what your psychologist finds.
A personality test called the ISE ( Investigator’s Symptom Scale) is often used in psychological assessments. The ISE is used to identify personality traits that are not consciously recognized by the individual. It is a 24-item questionnaire that covers such areas as socialization, intelligence, spirituality, and other areas. When your psychologist uses an ISE test to evaluate you, they will also conduct a number of interviews and observe your behavior in groups or one-on-one sessions.
Interviews are also frequently conducted in order to gather information that your psychologist will need to evaluate you. During an interview you will be asked a number of questions pertaining to your psychological issues and any other information that they need to know. Your psychologist may ask you questions about your family situation, any past mental health issues, work history, school performance, etc. In addition, they may ask you to complete a demographic survey as well. This survey will allow your psychologist to obtain information about your demographics in order to make sure that you are making progress with your mental illness.
Psychological tests like the ISE and interview can help health professionals evaluate you more effectively. The results from these tests will indicate if there are any psychological issues that need to be addressed in your life. If there are, your psychologist will use these tests to determine if you require treatment or if you can just keep living your life normally and ignore your mental illness.
In addition, your psychologist may decide to refer you to an appropriate therapeutic alliance. If you do not feel comfortable working with a psychologist who uses the services of a professional association, you can work with a psychologist on an informal basis through a professional counselor. Many psychologists will encourage you to work with a therapist/counselor form an informal basis while still undergoing therapy sessions. This informal arrangement may help you to adjust to the process of therapy and will also help you to decide if you want to work with a psychologist through a therapeutic alliance.
If you do feel comfortable working with a psychologist through a therapeutic alliance, your psychologist will likely continue to work with you through several sessions. During these sessions, your psychologist will give you continued guidance and assistance. They will help you to deal with stressors in your life, such as work stressors and relationship stressors. They might even provide you with some additional training or resources to make your workplace and relationships more effective. Regardless of whether or not you decide to work with a psychologist through an alliance or informal arrangement, you will likely find that working with a good psychologist can help you to make positive improvements in your life.