If you're considering therapy for the first time, you likely have a lot of questions about how the process will work. Directing these questions to your therapist is completely normal and highly recommended — they should be more than willing to answer your questions about specialty, availability, expectations, and everything in between.
If you think of questions during your search for a therapist or before your first session, it may be beneficial to write them down, so you feel equipped during your first meeting. If you're unsure what to ask, here are some questions that may be helpful. Also, be sure to check out your first therapy session FAQ.
You’ll probably want to know the practical information about your therapist, including their training, schedule, and payment options. Here are a few questions that can help you identify a therapist who meets your practical needs:
If you are looking for specialty competencies, such as 2STNB, LGBTQ+ or veteran expertise, be sure to ask what experience, training, or certifications they have to ensure you will receive the specialized care you need.
If your therapist is in the SonderMind network, these questions will be answered before your first appointment.
Finding a therapist who’s the right fit for you means you’ll have to speak up on what’s important to you. Think about what you’re looking for in a therapist and communicate your preferences. Remember that sometimes a therapist may not check all of your boxes. That doesn’t mean they’re not the right fit for you and won’t be able to help you. It might take a little bit of exploration and trial and error, and that’s ok.
Some questions you can ask include:
As you start developing a relationship with your therapist, you’ll want to have a solid therapeutic alliance. The therapeutic alliance refers to the quality of the relationship between you and your therapist. A solid therapeutic alliance is critical to achieving the goals you want in therapy. You can read more about it here.
Therapy usually doesn’t last forever. In many cases, it might last for a set duration of time or through a specific life event. Being able to set expectations and track your progress is an important part of developing strong mental health.
Here are a few questions to ask to learn more about how your therapist approaches setting expectations and tracking progress:
These questions are a general guide, and 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.
American Psychological Association. (2017, July). How do I find a good therapist? Retrieved May 31, 2022 from https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/finding-good-therapist
American Psychological Association. (2019, October 17). How to choose a psychologist. Retrieved May 31, 2022 from