· What mental health licenses and degrees do you hold?
· What kinds of mental health issues does your practice focus on?
· How long have you been practicing?
· What type of therapy to you think will be of most help to me in my particular situation and why?
· About how long do you think I’ll be in treatment?
· What are your fees?
· What types of payment do you accept and when is payment expected?
· If you accept insurance, what kind?
· Will you bill my insurance company or do I pay up front?
You may also want to ask for friends or family if they know someone. Knowing the differences between addiction counselors, social workers, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists and psychiatrists would be good information to have (this is easily found by internet search, as well). Most therapists will have websites or other web-based information available so you can check them out prior to making an appointment. Your insurance may have a list of preferred or “in-network” providers to help you make a selection.
The main emphasis I want to make today is that the “fit” as you experience it is paramount.
By “fit” I mean that sense of connection with the therapist that you interpret as a valuable partner in your journey of recovery – that process of improving health and wellness where you are living on purpose in your quest to reach your full potential.
Research has indicated that it is your perception of that “fit” that is a very strong predictor of your realizing a positive outcome; therefore, you would do well to find a therapist who is paying attention to what you want and is making the effort to create a collaborative environment. If you do not think the connection is such that you are having a positive response after 3-4 sessions, you may want to consider changing therapists. This is no specific reflection on the therapist as not all combinations are an easy fit. If you do elect to switch to another therapist, please tell your current therapist of your plans. They will appreciate it.