Common and/ or unusual questions Psychologists are asked

Here are a list of common and/ or unusual questions that Psychologist are asked. I’ve put this list together for some fun and to help people understand what it is like to see and to be a Psychologist.

Some of the more common questions

“How on earth do you do your job?”
Although it can sometimes feel a little draining, it’s actually great being able to help people.

“Does listening to all this get to you? Do you talk to a psychologist too?”
Yes, it’s called peer supervision and we are required to meet a certain number of hours each year.

“Do you think about your clients when you go home?”
Yes sometimes I do.

“Why do you have to take notes while I talk?”
Ummm, because my memory isn’t that great! Also we are required to keep records, and this means I’m prepared if in the rare case that I am audited, subpoenaed, or need to send my files to another professional one day.

“Can you tell I’ve been crying? Is my mascara smudged?”
Yes, but I have a mirror, water, tissues and bathroom. You you can leave prepared well.

“If I tell you I broke the law, will you report me?”
Nope. And certainly not for something like drug use or theft. But if I think somebody is at risk of physical harm, then yes.

“Only crazy people see shrinks. Do you think I’m crazy?”
All kinds of people seek to learn more and understand their mental health. I don’t view people as being crazy or not crazy. I see people who are suffering and who are seeking help. I want to help them so they are no longer suffering.

Here are some questions I get from people and friends in social settings (please don’t)

“Are you analysing me right now?”
Goodness, this would get too exhausting.

“Are you working out what’s wrong with me?”
No, I am not!

“Oh, you’re a Psychologist? What am I thinking right now?” 
Psychologist, not Psychic. There’s a really big difference!

“Can you help me get on the disability pension? I need a report and I have no money”
It doesn’t work that way.

After a deep-and-meaningful with a friend: “So, how much do I owe you?”
Just…no.

Funny therapy room questions

….these were gathered from the web 

Teenage client: “It’s not really in your best interest to fix me; if I get better, I stop coming and you make less money.
That wouldn’t be very smart, would it?”

“What was wrong with the person who came in before me?”
Really?

“Would you like to come over for a family dinner? Then you could observe us all and see what I mean.
Interesting idea. No. It’s called boundaries.

From a child client: “Do you live here?”
In a serviced office?

“I’m ok to do counselling, but can we not talk about feelings?
Um………

“Does your husband think we might be having an affair?”
No words!

“Do I have to lay on your couch?”
No, we normally don’t have a couch

And a little more serious….

If I spot you in line at the grocery store, what should I do?

Run.

JUST KIDDING!

This can and definitely does happen. If I see someone in public, I typically don’t acknowledge them, leaving it up to them to acknowledge me. This can run a risk of making a person feel ignored especially if we haven’t previously discussed the possibility of this happening, and in all honesty I’m always good at remembering to let my clients know up front. But know most psychologists, counsellors and therapists will take cues from the other person on how to interact.

No offense, but what if I just don’t like you as a therapist—should I stick it out?

If there are other options in your community, and you can afford it, no, you shouldn’t stick it out. Absolutely leave a therapist if you’re just not connecting.

Studies suggest that “fit” and the therapist-client relationship are actually some of the strongest indicators of success in treatment. Because of this, I will always give the client the option of not continuing if it’s not right for them, of course it’s perfectly okay not to like me. However, the first few sessions are really about getting to know each other. If it is not working it is important to find someone that works better for you. I would much rather someone leave me and find someone else and still get treatment they need, than be scared out of mental health treatment completely.

If you have so many patients, how do I know you’ll be focused on and care about me individually?

Speaking only for myself on this here, but the training we undergo in this field teaches us to multitask, and to multitask pretty well. It also teaches us to look at each individual person and their experience, and to not only associate them with a particular diagnosis or disease (e.g. you are not a schizophrenic, but a person who happens to have schizophrenia). I give each client the same attention, empathy, brain space, and thought, and I place equivalent value on each and every interaction. But the only way you would know that, I think, would be to actually trust me, which is easier said than done when you have just met someone. But I hope you can trust that I am doing the best I can to care for you as an individual and not another number.

Written by:
Cheryl Gale,
Psychologist,
Proactive Health & Movement

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