Anna McDonald, LCSW on Jan 10, 2023
You did it! You found a few therapists actually accepting clients right now. They are all within budget, have availability matching yours, and seem pretty nice! All these therapists also offer a free consultation… but what does that mean? What are you supposed to ask or say? What is appropriate for this “consultation?”
Questions to Ask a Therapist
Starting the process of therapy and opening yourself up is intimidating, but now you have to interview the therapists?! Yes. Although you do not have to, I would highly recommend asking potential therapists a few clarifying questions so you know they are the right fit for you.
Here is a list of the top questions to ask a therapist during your free consultation:
Question #1: Do you have experience working with the issues I am looking for help with?
Not every therapist is the same, and their experience is often widely varied. Make sure to ask specifically and directly if the potential therapist has actually worked with the issues you need help with. This may save you and the therapist a lot of time, stress, and resources if they are not the right fit for your needs.
Question #2: What should I expect from a session with you?
This is a great question to ask as it helps you have a framework for what treatment may look like. As I mentioned before, each therapist is different and has their own unique style. This question not only helps reduce fear of the unknown when entering treatment but sheds light on what each therapist’s approach to treatment may be.
Question #3: How do you know therapy is working with your clients?
This question is important because it helps you understand how each therapist tracks progress with their clients. Some forms of therapeutic treatment are goal-oriented and very structured, clearly tracking behavioral milestones for progress. Other forms of treatment are more abstract and insight-oriented. Asking this question clarifies the therapist’s approach to wellness and progress with their clients.
Question #4: How long have you been practicing therapy?
Asking this question is very straightforward but gives a quick snapshot of your potential therapist’s experience. It is a great grounding question to provide quick insight into who you may be working with.
Question #5: How can I prepare for my first session?
If after speaking with your prospective therapist you feel this is a good fit, ask what they recommend you do to prepare for your first session. It may be helpful to go into your first session with a framework for what the first session of therapy will be like. This question also clarifies the needed documentation prior to the first session.
Use this list to help you find the right therapist today!