How frequently do people meet with a sport psychologist?
Typically meetings are initially held once per week unless it is clinically indicated to meet more frequently. Weekly meetings assist in establishing the relationship between you and the sport psychologist along with building a solid foundation of knowledge and strategies. Once the foundation is established, the session frequency moves to bi-weekly or monthly meetings to provide opportunity for you to practice and apply the strategies in your performance setting. The meetings may occur in an office, through online video technology, or on-site (e.g. on the field).
What can I expect during my first meeting with a sport psychologist?
The goal of the initial meeting is to create a customized treatment plan. The sport psychologist will ask a series of questions aimed at creating a picture of what brought you in and what you are looking to get out of working with them. A discussion surrounding what is currently happening along with its history and how it is influencing your performance will occur. Collaboratively, you will identify goals to work on along with learning more about the process of sessions going forward. Additionally, it is an opportunity for you to ask questions that you may have about the process and what you can expect to get out of it.
What is the difference between a clinical sport psychologist and a mental skills coach?
A clinical psychologist is someone who has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, completed a pre-doctoral internship, and 1-2 years of post-doctoral training prior to obtaining a license to practice. A clinical psychologist has the education and training to identify, diagnose, and treat mental illness. In addition, a clinical sport psychologist has a specialization area of competency in athletics, which is acquired from additional training, supervision, and experience working with athletes. Dr. Megan is a licensed clinical psychologist who obtained additional and specialized training in performance psychology and working with athletes, which is why she is referred to as a clinical sport psychologist or sport psychologist.
A mental skills coach or sport performance consultant is an individual who is not required to have a doctoral degree in psychology. Typically, they have a bachelors or masters level of education with training or expertise in teaching performance to athletes. However, they are not psychologists and cannot identify, diagnose, or treat mental illness.