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Questions to Ask a Clinician When Beginning Therapy

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By: Steve Gainey, MA, LLP, ADS, CAADC, EAC Clinical Specialist – Finding a therapist can be challenging and scary. It can feel personal and vulnerable. Here are some questions to consider when meeting with a therapist for the first time.

  1. Do you accept my insurance? What is my copay? At times, you may need to contact your insurance to find out your deductible and copay (if any).
  2. What hours and days do you work?
  3. Do you offer virtual or phone appointments? Be mindful that some insurance companies only cover face-to-face sessions.
  4. What is your policy related to cancellations, no-shows, or late cancelations?
  5. What is your degree and what type of licensure and certifications do you have?
  6. How long have you been a therapist?
  7. Do you have any specialty areas?
  8. What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor? Are there any issues or ages that you do not see?
  9. What is a typical session like? How long are the sessions?
  10. How frequently will sessions occur? And for how long?
  11. What information will be shared with others about my treatment?
  12. What is your philosophy and approach to helping? Are you more directive or more guiding?
  13. Do you assign tasks outside of the therapy session (i.e., reading a relevant book, practicing mindful meditation, practicing what is learned in therapy in the “outside world”)?
  14. What is your recommendation about medication for my issue? A Master’s Level therapist cannot prescribe a medication, but they can refer you to your Primary Care Physician or a psychiatrist to have an evaluation.
  15. What should the goal be for therapy?

There are many more questions to ask, but these are a good start.  Feeling comfortable with your therapist is the ultimate goal.  Asking questions is a way to help you feel relaxed and ease into the therapeutic process.  Therapy can be uncomfortable at times, so making sure you feel connected to your therapist will help the process and your ability to open up.

If you are looking to get started in therapy, EAC is available.  Reach out today!  We’re here to help.

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