Reaching psychologists

Introduction

Caregivers may seek services from psychologists directly for assistance with caregiving related challenges or burdens. Many caregivers, however, do not recognize that their caregiving role is one for which they can seek services.

Psychologists may need to open themselves to noticing caregivers’ needs in settings where psychological services are provided, and may need to reach out to offer services relevant to caregiving concerns. In other words, traditional referral patterns for services often do not apply for several reasons.

  • Caregivers frequently do not identify themselves as caregivers. They instead believe that they are simply functioning as a loved one should.
  • They are often so focused on taking care of others that they do not consider seeking help for themselves, even when they are distressed.
  • They typically believe that they do not have the time to meet with psychologists or seek other forms of help for themselves because they cannot leave the care recipient unattended
  • They may feel embarrassed if they experience a sense of burden or distress because they believe that having such negative emotions means they are not good caregivers.
  • They worry that, if they should need to seek help for themselves, others will criticize them for being unable to adequately care for their loved one.

Settings where caregivers are found:

  • Community Organizations (e.g., schools, churches, barbershops)
  • Healthcare Centers and Hospitals
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Non-profit, Disease-specific Organizations
  • Housing
  • Self-referral
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