Finding the Right Therapist

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BY|Theo Gagen View Bio|13th Aug 2019

If you’ve never been to therapy before, you may have a lot of questions about how this whole thing is going to work.  Asking your therapist questions is highly recommended, and a completely normal way to help you determine if your therapist is the right fit. Your therapist should be more than willing to answer questions regarding anything from logistics to boundaries, and everything in between.  If you think of questions before or during your therapy session, it may be beneficial to write them down so you feel as though you are well equipped when you visit your therapist. If you are unsure of what questions to ask, here are some that may be helpful:

Logistics

If your therapist is in the SonderMind network, all of the logistical questions (Are you licensed? What is your availability? etc.) will be answered prior to your first appointment. If your therapist is not in the SonderMind network, these questions can help you find a suitable therapist:

  • Are you licensed?
  • What is your availability like?
  • Do you have a cancellation policy? 
  • How much do you charge for a session?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • When is the earliest my first appointment could be? 
  • What is your specialty or area of expertise?

Determining if this therapist is right for you

  • Have you helped people with the same mental health challenges as me?
  • What types of treatments do you use?
  • What do you think your strengths are as a therapist and how would those strengths apply to my mental health issue?
  • Do you give your patients homework? If so, what type of assignments do you commonly give?
  • How should I communicate with you outside of sessions (phone, email, etc.)?

Setting boundaries and expectations

  • How am I supposed to determine what advice you give me I should actually take? How seriously should I take your suggestions?
  • If therapy is not working for me, will you be willing to acknowledge that and suggest alternative solutions?
  • Would you be willing to recommend other local professionals that could help me if that discussion arises?
  • Does everything I say to you stay in between you and me? Is there any exceptions to this rule?
  • How often would you like to meet with me, and for how long?
  • How are you going to assess my progress? 
  • How quickly do you think I will start noticing my own progress?
  • What type of boundaries would you like to set?

These questions are just a general guide, but any other questions that come to your mind before or during your therapy sessions are valid and worth asking.  The more questions you ask your therapist, the easier it will be to determine if your therapist is the right fit for you.