How to Email a Therapist for the First Time: 5 Things to Ask

Wednesday, May 10 2023

Ready to reach out to a therapist, but feeling a little overwhelmed? You’re not alone. It’s okay to feel unsure about what to say when connecting with a therapist for the first time. You may also feel concerned about how much time you’ll spend reaching out to therapists. If you don’t want to spend time on the phone, you may choose to email a therapist instead. This can be a big time saver, but what exactly should you include in that first email? 

Here, we’ll share what information to share and questions to ask when you email a therapist for the first time. Plus, learn how SonderMind can help you easily connect and communicate with a therapist who meets your unique needs — no phone calls or directory searches required. 

What to say in your first email to a therapist 

Your first communication with a potential therapist is an important one — this is your opportunity to share what you’re looking to gain out of therapy and the type of therapist you’re looking for. It’s also a great time to ask important questions that can help you decide if you want to move forward with scheduling your first session. Here is the key information to include in your first email to a therapist: 

1. Introduce yourself and share why you’re seeking therapy 

Start your email by introducing yourself. Include your name and contact information, and why you’re reaching out. It’s important to be honest and straightforward about why you’re looking for support. Remember, no matter what your reasons are for seeking therapy, your therapist is there to listen, and won’t judge you.

2. Ask about their experience and approach

Connecting with a therapist who specializes in addressing your specific symptoms and needs is key to seeing success in therapy. Include questions about their professional experience, the conditions they specialize in, the types of therapy they offer, and their approach to treatment. This can help you decide if their expertise and style of treatment meets your needs.

3. Share your availability and ask about theirs

Let your therapist know when you’re available to have a first session. It may also be helpful to share your general availability for therapy — including the days of the week and time of day you’re open to have a session. It’s also important to share whether you’re looking for in-person or video sessions. Be sure to ask about the therapist’s availability and if they offer in-person or video (or both) therapy sessions to ensure your schedules will work and that you can get therapy in the environment that's most comfortable for you.   

4. Find out about cost, insurance, and payment options 

For many people seeking therapy, finding a therapist who accepts your insurance can be an important factor. What a therapist will charge per therapy session will vary from therapist to therapist. That’s why it’s important to ask about what they charge per session, the insurance providers they accept, and whether or not they offer a self-pay option. If you plan on using your insurance to help pay for therapy, it’s important to know upfront whether or not your therapist accepts your insurance. 

To find out specific details on what your insurance will cover for a therapy session, reach out to your insurance company directly for help. If you don’t plan on using insurance, it’s important to know if your therapist offers a self-pay option and what each therapy session will cost you so you can plan for this new expense. 

5. Include a question about their cancellation policy 

You may have to cancel or reschedule a therapy session every once in a while. That’s why it’s also important to include a question about your therapist’s cancellation policy so you understand the terms and conditions. This is important as most therapists charge a fee for no-shows or for canceling an appointment close to when the session is scheduled to happen. 

What to expect when emailing a therapist for the first time

Your therapist may reply to your email to answer your questions, or they may suggest scheduling an introductory phone call to discuss some of your questions. Even if you don’t love talking on the phone, consider taking this call. An email can only provide so much information, and an introductory phone call gives you an opportunity to ask any follow-up or additional questions you may have and helps you get to know your therapist a little better. This phone call will likely play a big role in helping you decide if your therapist is the right fit for you. Take a look at these additional questions to ask on your phone call to help you get the information you need to decide if you want to move forward with scheduling a session with your therapist. 

It may take a few days for your therapist to get back to you — and keep in mind that they may be busier during certain times of the week. If you don't hear back, feel free to follow up with another message. Remember, your mental health is your top priority, so if you don’t hear back after following up, it may be helpful to try reaching out to a different therapist so you can get started with therapy ASAP. ‍

SonderMind makes connecting and communicating easy 

At SonderMind, we do the work for you to connect you with the type of therapist who meets your needs. 

Finding the right therapist and building a strong relationship with them is key to reaching your goals and seeing success in therapy. That’s why we first get to know your likes and preferences and what you’re looking for in a therapist. Then, we connect you with a licensed therapist who fits these preferences. We do all the searching for you, so you don’t have to spend time looking through a directory and making phone calls. Learn more about how SonderMind helps connect you with a therapist who’s right for you here

We also make communicating with your therapist easy. Once you’ve selected a therapist, you can easily send them a message within your SonderMind portal. This is where you can ask all those initial questions and share important information about yourself and what you’re looking for to make sure they’re right for you. If you decide they are the right fit, you can also use the messaging feature to schedule a session with your therapist and communicate with them throughout your therapy journey

Reaching out to a therapist for the first time isn’t the easiest task, but it’s an important first step toward feeling better. Use the information in this article as a guide to help you draft that first email or make that first phone call. And if you’d like some help connecting with a therapist, SonderMind is here to make the process easier. 

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