Choosing a Therapist
Just like when hiring any professional, feel confident that you are allowed to ask questions ahead of time. Most therapists do not have secretaries and you will be speaking to them directly when you make the initial call for an appointment. Try and prepare ahead of time a few things that you feel are important to ask. Specific questions regarding your situation that need a considerable amount of background information should be saved for once you are with the provider. Limit your questions to brief and succinct requests. The therapists’ only commodity is their time so they may not be willing or enthusiastic to get into long discussions before you have even become a client. See the list below for some standard suggestions. When calling RELIEF for information ahead of time, many of these questions have already been asked by RELIEF and the clinician’s qualifications and expertise have been confirmed.
Checklist for Choosing a Therapist
- Are you licensed?
- What type of degree do you have? LCSW, LMHC, LMFT, LPC, PhD PsyD?
- How many years have you been practicing?
- What experiences do you have helping people with the problems I’m having?
- What are your areas of expertise — for example, working with children and families?
- What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?
- If you are sending a child or adolescent – what is your communication policy with parents? A delicate balance must be reached between respecting adolescents’ privacy and not keeping parents in the dark.
- What are your fees? (Fees are usually based on a 45-minute to 50-minute session.) Do you have a sliding-scale fee policy?
- Do you accept any insurance? Will you accept direct billing to or payment from my insurance company? Are you affiliated with any managed care organizations? Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid insurance?
- What is your policy for communication in between sessions?
*DISCLAIMER – The preceding articles are provided for informational purposes only. These resources are not in substitute of the services of mental health care professional.