“So, you are a psychologist, huh? What do you really do? What kind of people do you work with?”
“ Are you analyzing me right now?”
“If you are a psychologist, can you read my mind?”
These kinds of questions are regularly asked of psychologists. It seems to be a profession shrouded in mystery. Much of what people know about psychology is based upon media representations, which tend to give inaccurate pictures of the field.
My hope for this blog is that it will address some of the common questions that people have about the field of clinical psychology, and will provide information about common reasons people seek psychological help. I hope to demystify the field a bit while providing some helpful information about common challenges people face, skills for addressing them, and what new research is showing. Expect to find information, exercises, skills/tips, and links to articles that you may find interesting.
Who is this blog written for? It is my belief that all of us can benefit from the kind of information I will include here. Much of what I do as a psychologist is work with people who are facing the kinds of challenges that we all face in our lives. Dealing with transitions, losses, stressful events, relationship conflicts, and life stress is something that most of us can continue to grow and improve upon. Many have also experienced periods of depression, anxiety, shyness in social or performance settings, difficulty sleeping, and other types of challenges that can benefit from basic skills and psychological knowledge. Additionally, this blog hopes to address ways to increase positive experiences in your life and grow happiness and wellness.
Of course, what I include here can only be basic information, and if you are truly struggling with a challenge in your life, I would recommend meeting with a psychologist or other mental health practitioner for information and support tailored specifically to you. Hopefully this information will get the ball rolling and help you decide whether meeting with someone for further support would be useful.
So…no, when you meet a psychologist at a social gathering, they are probably not analyzing you (at least not in a way that is different from what anyone does when they meet a new person – we all try to get a sense of who the person is). We also can’t read your mind (as helpful as that might be!). But, if you are in distress and you come to our office, most of us will do our very best to help you. It may look very different depending on the psychologist you meet with and what you are there to work on, but hopefully I can start to paint a clearer picture of what it can look like with the words that will follow here in this blog.
Thanks for reading,
Lindsay Shortliffe, Psy.D.