Consulting a shrink: 6 tips for successful therapy

Going to “see someone” is only the first step on the long road to mental well-being. We asked Christelle Albaret, psychosociologist, her advice to optimize sessions with the shrink. Especially since, depending on the region, the bill for therapy can be steep.

Consulting a psychiatrist: how much does it cost?

According to a YouGov x Qare survey conducted in 2021, 1 in 10 French people have already consulted a psychiatrist or psychologist to take care of their mental health. And about 17% of French people intended to “see someone”, in other words to consult a shrink. In detail, this desire is present in 20% of women and 17% of men, and in 25% of 25-34 year olds.

On the same subject

Do I need to see a psychiatrist?

Yes, but here it is: if psychiatric consultations are reimbursed by Health Insurance (up to 70%), there is no reimbursement for consultations with a psychologist.

>> How much does it cost to see a psychologist in France? According to the 2021 Psychology Observatory conducted by the platform, the average cost of a consultation (from 45 minutes to 1 hour) with a psychologist in France is 64 euros.

Unsurprisingly, the bill is higher in the big cities: thus, in Paris, the prices are (on average) around 80 euros, or even 95 euros on average in certain more well-off towns in Île-de-France – such as in Courbevoie or Asnières-sur-Seine.

Good news: in some cities, the prices for psychologists are (a little) more affordable. Thus, in Nantes, the psychological consultation costs on average 46 euros; it is on average 45 euros in Vannes, 50 euros in Toulouse or Reunion, 55 euros in Strasbourg… but it rises to 70 euros in Bordeaux. Once again, France is a bad student in Europe since in Spain, the consultation with a psychologist costs on average 52 euros. When will psychologists be reimbursed?

Opt for a la carte therapy

Between the time of the session, the travel time and the frequency of appointments, this “time for you” can quickly become an obstacle course and turn into a source of stress. The ideal is therefore to choose the therapy that best suits your lifestyle and your constraints.

Thanks to new technologies, you can easily consult your shrink remotely, by telephone, video and even by message… Near your home or your office, in e-psy version… it’s up to you to choose the format that suits you best , in order to follow the therapy at your own pace by erasing the brakes or the constraints of everyday life.

Our expert : Christelle Albaret, psychosociologist and founder of La Clinique E-Santé, columnist since 2017 of the program Ça commence today, on France 2. Author of The emotional charge, how to free yourself from it(ed. Larousse).

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Count on sincerity
Always be sincere, do not seek to please your shrink or spare him. Indeed, resistance is part of the therapeutic path. Good therapy requires the right triggers. To stimulate them, sincerity is a main ingredient and it will save you time. An example ? If one day you do not want to honor your appointment, say so! Your shrink won’t take it badly and he can even decipher the situation with you.

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Make requests
If you want to explore a subject, experiment with a therapeutic tool, change the pace, talk to your therapist. If you need to know how your therapy is progressing or what the next steps are, ask. Your shrink is there to guide you on the path to well-being. Likewise, if you feel you need a break from therapy, don’t be shy about taking it. Stopping a bit also allows you to digest certain information and move forward better later. Finally, the simple act of asking also helps build assertiveness.

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Do not prepare anything, let yourself be surprised
This trick is rather surprising… Many patients stress before their consultation by thinking: “Damn, I haven’t prepared anything. But what am I going to talk about?” No need to pressure yourself. Remember that your shrink doesn’t expect anything from you, he expects you… It’s very different. Also know that, during your session, you have an appointment “with yourself”, so trust yourself, you will know what is important at the moment.

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find your words
When you describe an event that marked you, try to find your own words, even if it means inventing them, in order to be as close as possible to your feelings. Avoid borrowing catchwords or the big trends of the moment like “my ex is a narcissistic pervert”, “my daughter is hypersensitive”, “I’m resilient”… Each story is unique.

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Do not lie
By dint of complicity, we sometimes want not to tell everything or to embellish reality a little… Lying to your shrink, by words or by omission, is also, and above all, lying to yourself. Have you lied to him lately? This is a good opportunity to dig with your therapist: what did you want to hide? What do you feel ? What was your hidden intention? Everything can be analyzed and sometimes the absence of words says more than long sentences!

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