The beautiful thing about seeking out a therapist is that you have the chance to get a feel for them in the form of a phone consultation. Most consultations are free of charge and range anywhere from 15 minutes to the length of a typical session. In the consultation, you and the therapist talk a little about what you would want to address in therapy, along with a few other questions to determine if the match is a good fit for you.
Here are 6 questions to ask during your therapy consultation:
- What are your primary specialties?
- If you have a specialized condition, you want to ensure that the therapist you work with is qualified and trained to work with you.
- Do you offer Telemental Health/in-office services?
- As the world is opening back up, you may feel comfortable seeing your therapist in office. Conversely, you may prefer the convenience of therapy remotely. It is best to clarify what services will be provided to make an informed decision based on your needs and lifestyle.
- Do you accept my insurance?
- Many therapists accept several insurances but not all. If they are not in-network with your provider, ask about out-of-network benefits. Also, if you both mesh very well and you want to move forward with services, ask about their self-pay rate.
- Do you have a sliding scale available?
- Depending on your budget for therapy, some rates may not be affordable. Ask the therapist if they offer a sliding scale. If so, great! If not, it was worth asking. At this point, you can decide whether to seek another therapist or reevaluate your expenses for areas to cut back on in order to fit in therapy.
- What will scheduling look like?
- Depending on the therapist’s availability, the needs of your condition, your personal schedule, and many other factors, ask what scheduling will be like. Is it biweekly, monthly, etc.? Will you have to pick your appointments online or be put on a rotation/frequency? These things are good to know ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly.
- How should I prepare for sessions?
- This is a wonderful question to ask to know what to expect going into your first session. It also relays to your therapist that you have a vested interest in the process. Some therapists may say to simply show up, and others might give you a few tips to feel ready and confident to begin your sessions.
Bonus Consultation Tips:
During your consultation, have a paper and pen ready to write down notes. You may have a couple of consultations lined up, so you want to have notes on each practice to refer back to. Second, do not be afraid to ask any questions that come to mind during the call. Remember, you want to get a feel for the therapist, their therapeutic style, and whether that may work for you. Have the practice number written next to the practice name in your notes as well, should you want to call back with any follow-up questions.
Therapy is a form of self-care, so take advantage of consultations and enjoy the process!