Meeting a new therapist can be quite a nerve-racking experience, but it’s important to make sure you are seeing the right kind of therapist for you. Here are ten questions everyone should ask their new the therapist regardless of why they are going in the first place…
10 – What qualifications do you have?
Most therapists are more than happy to share their experiences and qualifications with you and its a question you really should ask, especially if you are going to a therapist seeking a particular type of therapy. If they are not willing to share this information with you I suggest you seek someone else to work with you.
9 – Have you Been in Therapy Yourself?
This might sound like a weird question, but often those who have been in therapy themselves will be a lot more understanding from your own point of view. While some might say they still attend therapy every week it doesn’t mean they are not up for the job, it just means they are more aware of keeping up with their mental health.
8 – Have You Treated Someone With My Problems Before?
While everyone is indeed different and everyone’s problems unique to them it’s important to know your therapist has helped other people climb the mountain of recovery. If they have worked with people with your symptoms before they might be able to help you reach your own goals quicker.
7 – What is Your Cancellation Policy?
For some busy therapists, you could still be charged for cancelling if you phone 48hrs in advanced, but most of them require 24 hrs notice. So its good to make sure you understand what notice they need, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle yourself.
6 – How Flexible is Your Availability?
If you work you will need someone who works after hours, or maybe someone who does therapy on the weekends. This is even more of an issue if you work sliding shifts for nights. So make sure they are flexible and try to pick a regular time and stick to it.
5 – Do you Have Contact Options Between Sessions?
While you should never expect your therapist to be on call 24/7 you should expect them to at least answer the odd question if you have them via text or email but in their own time. This is especially true if you have just started to work with them as questions can easily crop up after each session.
4 – Can I Bring Other People To My Sessions?
While this is not a question that will apply to everyone it is something worth considering, especially if you are under 18. There might be a time when you need a parent or guardian with you or even just a close friend who you don’t mind hearing what is said. Whatever the reasons you might bring someone along with you it is best to ask at the start of your therapy journey.
3 – What Frequency of Therapy Sessions Do You Suggest For Me?
This question is a lot better than the classic “how long is this going to take” question that almost no therapist can answer (unless they are psychic). The more frequent your sessions the more help you will need and in theory the longer you will need to be in therapy for.
2 – Do You Offer Discounts For Long-Term Upfront Payments?
While most therapists don’t offer any form of discount as standard for upfront payments some might consider it, especially if they themselves are new to the world of therapy. Sadly most of them will tell you its a set rate or nothing, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
1 – Are There Things I can Do Between Sessions?
If you feel you need a little extra guidance between sessions then you might want to ask about possible breathing exercises or even some wellness practices to try. While you could find yourself loads of things to do online it doesn’t hurt to ask them the kind of things to look for. But most therapists are always happy to print off information or at the very least suggest a few things or even the name of a few good books to follow along with.
This list is just a small selection of the things you should be asking your therapist. So if you have any others you think people need to ask do leave your suggestions in the comments below.