I had a spare moment recently and searched for a psychologist in Omaha. I learned a number of things you should be aware of when searching for a psychologist on the web.
Psychologists have to go through their schooling in psychology specifically, complete a year long full-time internship, and then be supervised until they pass a licensing exam in psychology. But the web doesn’t know that. The websites, when I went out and looked for Psychologist in Omaha, it labeled numerous other mental health professionals as being a psychologist, yet those individuals had not met the more stringent criteria to be a psychologist. How do you know, as the consumer, what to look for? You would have to read a bit to make sure the person has a doctorate (Ph.D., Psy.D, Ed.D) AND is licensed psychologist. Dr. Laura, the radio personality, is a good example. She calls herself “Doctor Laura” but she is not a psychologist. Her masters and doctorate degrees are in physiology. So read up about the person to make sure they have the doctorate and the license.
There is one lone review of me out there that I was late to the session with the “customer” who did the review. Of all the things to say about me, that is not the truth. I am not late, but in fact starting early nearly every session, a few minutes before the hour because insurance requires a 53 minute session to have it be billed as an hour session. You have to be very careful about trusting reviews about people in the mental health profession. When I looked at my respected colleagues in the profession, they seemed to have very few reviews. That is because as ethical professionals, we don’t ask for anyone we have worked with to write a review. If a professional has a lot of reviews and they are all five star, you might want to be suspect of that professional. All five stars? And if the reviews say how the professional had you feeling so great every time, then you may want to be suspect of those reviews…
…because therapy is hard work. It is not something that makes you feel wonderful (at least most of the time for most patients). We deal with your difficult issues. We work on things that are often hard to talk about. Patients intermittently say in “good” sessions, “that was hard,” or “I’m exhausted,” in sessions with me. We work hard, with difficult issues. And that is what most people want and need when they are looking for a psychologist.
So, be careful out there on the web looking for a psychologist. There are lots of good mental health professionals, with many different credentials. Be careful and do a bit of homework when looking for a psychologist on line.
Dr. Robert G. Kraft is a career psychologist in Omaha, NE. He earned his doctorate, as well as his bachelors and masters before that, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and has practiced in Nebraska ever since.
As well as maintaining his practice, Dr. Kraft is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Creighton University School of Medicine, where he teaches residents about psychotherapy.