8 Questions to Help You Choose a Therapist

There are many reasons that someone may seek counseling. You lost a job. You lost a lover. You’re 28 and still living with your parents. You’re in an abusive relationship. You’re not satisfied with some area of your life.

So, you look to the internet to find someone to talk to. Who should I see? Oh, that person “looks” nice. I wonder if I would connect with her? Would she be able to help me? It would be pretty difficult to distinguish without meeting that therapist in person or at the very least beginning the conversation on the phone. Most therapists will provide a free 20 minute phone consultation, take advantage of this!

One of the services we provide at Mindful Therapy Group is a “connection call” to each new client that emails or calls us to schedule an appointment. This is a time for you to get it out on the table and see if this will work for you. We take pride in being the first attempt to “make that connection”.

The most important factor to determine initial fit is this- Do you feel comfortable talking to this person? Sounds simple enough, right?

There are a few questions you’ll be asked that will help the staff match you up:

  • What is your insurance carrier if any?
  • What is your schedule like? Is it fairly rigid or are you flexible?
  • Are you seeking individual, couples or family therapy?
  • How old are you or the potential client?

Those are the limiters. Things that may prevent you from being matched with the therapist you thought would be a ‘perfect fit’.

When you end up on that first connection call, you should be ready to ask the therapist a few things:

1.     What should I expect in my first session? This will ensure that expectations are congruent and set before you even walk through the door.

2.     How do you structure the sessions from there on out?

3.     I think my issues are ________________. How do you approach this?

4.     What is the course of treatment? How long do you anticipate treatment to continue? How do you decide when treatment is complete?

5.     How will you meet me at my starting point?

6.     How will you balance challenging me without compromising support?

7.     What will my role be in therapy? What will your expectations be for me?

8.     How will you make sure that I feel safe?

These are a few suggestions to get you started. But the takeaway is this: Do you feel validated and heard when talking with this person? If so, great! You’re on your way to healing. These first steps are so important.

And if not, it may not be the right fit. That’s ok. It’s better to decide this early on. There may be someone else who is more suited to you. Allow yourself to make this decision and be self-compassionate.

Contact Us for an appointment with one of our skilled and Licensed Mental Health Professionals, and we will help you find the one that is just right for you.

Registered Nurse turned Small Business Creative, Jessica Crain is Co-Owner and Director of Operations for Mindful Therapy Group. Find out more about her background and services here

photo credit: splityarn via photopin cc