Who is the Best Psychologist in Dubai? Who is the Best Counselor in Dubai?
It’s always interesting to me to think what people type into Google when they are looking for psychological support. Assuming they have reached the point that would like some assistance, do they look for a psychologist or a counselor? Do people know the difference? I’ve been really struck by the number of people who search for “best psychologist Dubai” and “best counselor Dubai”. I suppose people are hoping reviews will emerge from such a search, but in fact, what tends to arise is ads for clinics claiming to have the best this, that and the other. This leaves people somewhat at the whim of marketing techniques and potentially no further forwards in sourcing the right support.
So what should you look for in a psychologist or counselor?
The most important thing to ensure is that the person is licensed to practice in Dubai. You need to make sure that the person you see is licensed by Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Health Authority or equivalent. Doing so ensures the credentials of the person have been thoroughly checked out and that they have the qualifications and expertise to assist. It’s also reassuring to know the person is a member of the appropriate professional body. This means the psychologist or counselor will be practising ethically and will be held accountable to a professional code of conduct.
Once you know the person is well-trained and licensed, ask yourself whether you like them! Engaging in counseling or therapy with someone you don’t like is not going to work. You need to feel comfortable with them, as though you can speak openly without judgement, and that the person will carry themselves in a genuine, warm and professional manner. It might be important to you that your counselor has a sense of humour which can help put you at ease. Make sure you are clear on what the therapy will be focussed on and that you are happy with the focus. A good psychologist or counselor will be open to any questions you may have about the direction of the work.
Should my psychologist be from the same culture as me?
People often prefer to be from a similar cultural background as the psychologist or counselor they see. This can be a helpful starting point and clients frequently report being understood at a deeper level when there is a shared cultural understanding. However, don’t underestimate the ability of a good psychologist or counselor to do a great job of deeply understanding you even when your cultural backgrounds are different. A well-trained clinician will be trained specifically to work with people from different cultures and to name and embrace the difference rather than pretending it isn’t there. Sometimes people say they welcome the influence of another culture to help them clarify their own position on some of life’s big questions.
Do we need to speak the same first language?
If it is possible to have therapy in your native language, I would recommend doing so. It’s important to engage at an emotional level with the things you talk about in therapy. The level of cognition required to think in a second language can sometimes be a barrier to connecting deeply with what you talk about.
Being the wrong psychologist
Sometimes the person who is most helpful is the person who can tell you that they’re not the best psychologist for your particular problem. Psychologists and counselors are trained in various models and have different areas of speciality. Some of my best interventions with people is to let them know at the initial session that I’m not the right person for them. I then ensure they are connected to the person most able to meet their particular needs. The mark of a good professional is their ability to signpost you to the best person to assist.
So who is the best psychologist in Dubai?
There isn’t one. There are a number of psychologists and counselors in Dubai and many of them are very well-trained, highly experienced and ethical, professional practitioners who make significant differences to people’s lives. There isn’t a “best psychologist in Dubai”. But there is the best fit for you.
Dr. Marie Thompson, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director.