How do you know a psychologist or psychiatrist is good?

Sorry if this has been posted before;

I have researching online and see the star ratings, but based on my experience that means little.

Does anyone have techniques or questions for gauging a professional? Ques that tell you to run for the hills? Etc?


Well-Known Member
We've been through a bunch of them between school, and various insurance companies (Kaiser in California), and various private therapists. We've had to have psychiatrist for medications, the mental health worker at school who really has a pretty great rapport with him, one psychiatrist that played Minecraft for an hour, which my grandson loved, and the latest one that we really like, just for his youth, energy, and approach that fits with our own belief systems--i.e., don't just throw drugs at a kid and see what sticks because of a diagnosis, or multiple diagnoses in many cases. It's trial and error and listening to your gut. And sometimes it's who will answer the phone, take your insurance, return your calls, and that you can afford. I have spent countless hours on the phone with insurance companies that have no idea who actually takes the insurance (Are you listening United Healthcare???) and that will see kids, and that is accepting new patients. It ain't easy.


Active Member
I've found that referrals are very helpful. Referrals from our pediatrician, from the school psychologist or guidance counselor, outside therapists (for a medications doctor) and very importantly, friends. We have been very lucky. We've only had to switch psychiatrists once. My husband and I personally appreciate a doctor who is very transparent about their thinking and willing to share research and, frankly, past mistakes. Good luck.


Well-Known Member
I think you go by your gut, and then reassess. I think it is important to think about what you want and need to happen. I am learning to ask a therapist how and if they can help me and keep monitoring.

A couple months ago I stopped with a psychologist. I told her one session and then stopped. I said: I need to figure out what I want, on my own. I will come back when I know. She was flabbergasted. I like her. But that is not enough.

I began to put into place specific activities and therapy focused on what I need, not limited by the perspective or skill set of somebody else. In the time since I stopped I have accomplished a great deal.

It is way harder when it is about our kids, because we have so little control over how they respond. But it is still doable. I think one key is to think outside the the box about activities, people, and support in addition to therapists. Like sports, outdoor activities. Swimming. Hobbies. Being outdoors. Expressive arts. Equine therapy. Martial arts. Spirituality. Meditation. Yoga. Kids can do all of these.
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Yeah I really agree with the hobby/something to build her confidence.

She spends all her time on her phone or tablet. She works out at a gym, but I worry it’s for the wrong reasons. Ie, posting selfies, etc.

I’m going to look into us doing martial arts together. In addition to talking to someone.

Thanks all


Well-Known Member
I really believe it is individual. You click or not. I am talking just about therapy. Psychiatrists are different. I am very very very careful and question everything because psychiatry is not an exact science. I avoid those who think they can't be wrong when, really, there is no way they can prove they are right.

I don't see a psychiatrist anymore. Haven't for over a decade. My NP prescribes medications...I don't want to change them and certainly don't want to increase them and am doing well. I have had some really great psychiatrists (two) and some very scary self righteous and even dangerous ones (two). You want one who admits that this is not yet an exact science combined with one who respects your research and trusts that you know what works for you and what does not. You don't want one with a God complex...not for a Psychiatrist! Interview before committing. The doctor needs to have an open mind.

This is my two cents based on my experiences. Others may have different opinions based on thiers.
Lol wow similar story again. An NP figured out my correct diagnosis after 9 years of misdiagnoses from MDs. I think it’s because most nurse are emapths to some degree. :)

If it comes to medications, my daughter will def see an NP.