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Psychological Treatment in Delhi
By: Pulkit Sharma

The life in Delhi is filled with stress and difficulties. Due to the massive cultural change over the last few years, people living in Delhi are facing several psychological problems. Relationship problems, mood swings, anger, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, lack of confidence, job stress, addiction to alcohol and drugs, sexual deviations and dysfunctions, lack of meaning and purpose in life, spiritual crisis, emptiness and loneliness top the list of psychological problems. When any individual decides to take professional help for psychological problems they wonder how to choose a psychologist in Delhi who can help them overcome their difficulties through counselling.

There are several counsellors, counselling psychologists, psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists available in Delhi NCR who offer counselling and psychological treatment. Almost everyone claims that they are the best psychologist in Delhi. However, while choosing a psychologist in Delhi one needs to make a careful assessment whether the professional is well-equipped to handle the particular difficulty or not. Following points can be of some help in arriving at a conclusion:-

1. Training: Several universities in Delhi offer clinical psychology and counselling courses. These courses are generally in academic psychology during which the students read various psychology theories and do a brief field work. In Delhi NCR, although everyone who finishes a 'psychology' course calls themselves a clinical psychologist, child psychologist, counsellor or a counselling psychologist, however they may not be adequately trained. Training in clinical psychology in India needs to be licenced by the Rehabilitation Council of India. Until and unless a person is registered with RCI as a clinical psychologist they may lack expertise in dealing with complex psychological issues.

2. Area of expertise:As a practicing psychologist in Delhi, I feel the need to tell people thatwhile attempting to select a psychologist, one needs to know about the professional's area of expertise and training. Psychology and counselling are vast fields. Special skills and training is needed to work with different patient populations including adults, children, adolescents, elderly population and couples. Also, there are several types of counselling and psychotherapy and it has come to notice thatnot all psychologists in Delhiare trained to practice all methods. The most popular types of psychotherapy practiced in Delhi include psychoanalysis, cognitive-behaviour therapy, hypnotherapy, behaviour therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, play therapy, rational-emotive behaviour therapy and humanistic-existential therapy. One needs to know the type of psychotherapy a particular psychologist practices before making a decision.

3. Techniques of psychological assessment:I have been told that psychologists in Delhi use various types of psychological tests including intelligence tests, personality assessments, psychiatric rating scales, tests for depression and anxiety, parenting questionnaires, projective tests, symptom checklist and dyslexia tests. However, for most of the psychological problems and disorders these tests are not required. Indiscriminate use of psychological tests waste patient's time and money and delay the treatment.Often, reliable diagnosis and assessment can be done just by interviewing a patient and family members in detail.

4. Finances: Different psychologists in Delhi have varying charges. Psychology and counselling are generally long processes. It takes more than a few sessions to address the psychological problems of the client. Therefore one should choose a psychologist whose charges you can easily pay even if the treatment is long-term.

5. Availability: For counselling and psychotherapy to be effective, the psychologist needs to be adequately available. Generally one psychotherapy and counselling session should be of 45 minutes in duration with the same psychologist. For good progress, one needs to see the same psychologist for at least one session every week. No matter how busy a psychologist is, for effective counselling they should meet these basic minimum requirements.

Following are the questions you must ask before selecting a psychologist in Delhi NCR for psychological treatment:-

1. Are you licenced by the rehabilitation council of India to practice as a clinical psychologist?
2. Do you have adequate training and experience to treat the kind of problems I have?
3. How much time will it take approximately to recover from the difficulties that I have?
4. What are the types of psychotherapy that you specialize in?
5. What are the age groups you have worked with?
6. What are your charges per session?
7. Will you carry out the entire treatment or will I be referred to your assistants after the initial sessions?

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Pulkit Sharma is Clinical Psychologist & Spiritual Therapist in private practice at Pondicherry (Puducherry), near Auroville. Email:- info@thepsychologistindia.com