Information on Working with a Psychologist

Psychologists help people solve problems of daily life with proven methods backed by scientific research. We specialize in assessment of human ability and help people develop their optimal potential. A psychologist can help you identify your problems, and then figure out ways to best cope with them; to change contributing behaviors or habits; or to find constructive ways to deal with a situation that is beyond your control. When you need to talk to someone who can help, you need an experienced, trained professional. There are many types of mental health providers to choose from and it is important that you select a provider with appropriate training and qualifications.

How Do Psychologists Help People?

Psychologists teach people ways to achieve happiness in friendships, marriage, parenting, work, leisure and retirement. Psychologists develop, test and enhance prevention programs addressing social issues such as youth violence, domestic violence, education, child abuse, mental health and homelessness. Psychologists diagnose and prescribe treatments for mental distress and illness (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, suicidality, attention deficit, Alzheimer's disease and others). Psychologists can provide guidance to concerned members of the family and community. Psychologists work with physicians to help patients optimize health, cope with illness and speed the rate of recovery. Research demonstrates that psychological treatments improve cancer recovery, reduce high blood pressure, enhance surgical outcome, relieve chronic pain and improve overall health habits. Psychologists consult with courts and attorneys regarding competence to stand trial, civil commitment, sentencing and correctional programs. Psychologists consult with businesses to improve productivity, hiring practices, job satisfaction, teamwork and employee health.

How Are Psychologists Trained?

Licensed psychologists are doctoral-level specialists with more training in mental health than any other professional group. Accredited doctoral programs in health-services psychology require a median of seven years of training beyond the bachelor's degree. Psychology licensure in Oregon requires a specified course of graduate-level study followed by two years (minimum) of supervised clinical training. Psychologists study the social, psychological and biological foundations of human experience and behavior. Psychologists also are trained in experimental design and statistics. Accredited training programs require completion of independent research. Common Questions About Seeking Help What About Confidentiality?Your privacy is important to you and will be important to your psychologist. All members of OPA and the American Psychological Association subscribe to a Code of Ethics that requires strict efforts to maintain patient confidentiality.

Is Therapy Included in My Insurance Health Plan Coverage?

Many insurance and coverage plans provide some level of coverage for psychological services. Contactl your insurance health company to find out exactly what is covered for you. If you do not have coverage, and will be paying out of pocket, you can talk with your psychologist about payment options.

How Do I Find A Psychologist?

If you have insurance coverage, check with your insurance for a list of psychologists that are covered under your plan. You can also click on the Find a Psychologist button on this website to find a listing of psychologists that are members of the Oregon Psychological Association.

Are There Any Guarantees?

Oregon licensed psychologists must follow a strict ethical code that requires client privacy, commitment to client welfare, informed consent for treatment, social responsibility and relationships that remain exclusively professional. Millions of Americans who have received help from psychological treatment would say that it is one of the best investments they have made in terms of improving their lives. For psychological services that enhance health, happiness, ability and human performance, talk to someone who can help. Consult with a psychologist. You can find additional consumer information at the American Psychological Association website at