What are the qualities and virtues that a competent psychologist should have?
Being a good psychologist is not always easy, as this profession can be stressful and overwhelming.
Dealing with other people and their sometimes serious problems and helping them manage their emotions correctly can be exhausting. Among psychology professionals, it is known that, especially those who are engaged in psychological therapy, the first to go to therapy sessions are the therapists themselves. This can help them to be more objective in treating their patients.
Principles to be a good psychologist
Many times, the difference between being a good psychologist or a bad psychologist is found in attitude, in following a series of principles or habits that improve good professional work. Psychological therapy, sometimes, may not work, but psychologists must avoid that bad practices are the reason why the patient has not benefited from therapeutic help.
But what are the principles that a good professional psychologist should apply? How should a good psychologist or therapist be? We will explain them to you below.
1. Never judge a patient
Throughout his professional career, a psychologist may come across patients who think differently from him in many ways. Also, some of the experiences that patients reveal may be difficult for many people to understand. But the psychologist or therapist must understand the situation, and despite not sharing the patient’s way of acting or thinking, they should never impose their opinion.
The psychologist is a professional who has been trained to provide the patient with the necessary tools to improve their psychological well-being. Therefore, a good psychologist neither judges nor criticizes his patients.
2. Be accessible
Patients are usually people who need professional help for different reasons, but are generally in a situation of psychological and emotional distress. A good psychologist allows clients to feel comfortable in their sessions and is approachable. This helps the patient open up and feel ready to overcome their fears.
3. Active listening
The therapist must pay full attention to his patients, so he must not only hear what he is saying, but he must listen fully. This means that you must listen actively, that is, pay attention with all five senses to what the patient says.
Furthermore, the psychologist should not continually interrupt his patient during the session, because it is not positive to maintain the therapist-patient connection. In this sense, it is essential that the psychologist provide excellent rapport in his sessions.
4. Be self-aware and sincere
The therapeutic relationship is not always easy, because psychologists are human beings with their own emotions and thoughts.
But the good psychologist is self-aware and knows when he is no longer objective and based on prejudice when helping his patients. In addition, good psychologists are honest with both the patient and themselves, allowing them to guide the patient on the road to recovery.
5. Be in continuous training
A good psychologist is continually training, because he must be able to understand and care for his patients in the best possible way. Our society is constantly changing and technological advances are changing the way we interact with the environment.
To understand the current reality it is necessary for the therapist to constantly update their knowledge. Training is essential to continue improving and to continue growing at a professional level.
6. Be ethical
The psychologist, in addition to possessing theoretical and practical knowledge for the correct development of his profession, must be aware of his resources and limitations and of the ethical principles that govern the exercise of his profession. There is a code of ethics that all mental health professionals must strictly follow and that guarantee a professional and quality service.
The social responsibility of the psychologist obliges him to respect the dignity of his patients and preserve and protect fundamental human rights. Among some of the ethical obligations of the psychologist, we can find: use their knowledge to promote human well-being or maintain professional secrecy.
7. Communicate effectively
Since psychologists deal with people, it is necessary for them to master certain interpersonal skills and communication skills.
Well, one of the reasons why there is a good professional relationship between a therapist and a patient is good communication and understanding between the two, it is absolutely necessary that the professional has a series of communication resources that make their message reach clearly to the patient.
8. Be patient
One of the qualities that the therapist must possess is patience. Throughout the therapeutic sessions there may be ups and downs on the part of the patient, something that can also affect the psychologist, by making her question her working method.
The psychologist-patient relationship is not always idyllic, and in many cases the psychologist must be tolerant and patient, and must be able to transmit that patience so that the patient is aware that ups and downs are normal.
9. Be empathetic
But the therapist must not only be patient in front of the person in front of him, but also, to carry out his professional tasks successfully, he must be empathetic.
This means that you must be able to put yourself in the place of the other to feel what you feel and think as you think. In this way you will be able to understand the magnitude of the problem that the person is experiencing and will be able to help you. If the psychologist cannot be empathetic, he can minimize the problem the patient is experiencing, which could lead him to use inappropriate tools.
10. Derive when necessary
The psychologist must understand that he cannot help the patient in all his reasons for consultation nor is he an expert in solving all problems. One of the principles of being a good psychologist is knowing how to refer when necessary.
Therefore, the psychologist must refer the patient to another professional so that the latter can benefit from the help provided by another healthcare professional. Otherwise, you are committing professional malpractice.