So you are therapist shopping. Great first step. Now... what to ask. These initial consultations are important for you and your therapist and it is important to come prepared. We've got you! Here are our top 5 questions to ask in your initial consultation!
1: What is your educational background?
Note: Educational programs shape the way the practitioner may practice, what theoretical model their approach is informed by and so much more!
2: Are you licensed?
Note: Very important *** You want to know if they are in good standing with whatever college they are a part of and if they are a part of the college at all. It is also important to know that they can actually practice what they are saying they can. There is a lot of ambiguity in the field. Remember too that counselling is not a regulated practice in Ontario so they may not be registered with a college. They may still be great counsellors, but it is useful for you to know who you are working with!
3. What kind of additional training have you done?
Note: This question is really important if you want a specialized services for example: you want a specialist in post-partum or grief therapy per say. General education is great, but the more training in a particular area will help you know if they might have the skills you need. Training is not required to work using some modalities but might be for others! Again, not required, but could be good depending on what you are wanting from the therapy.
4. What lead you to working with the issues you work with?
Note:This is more of a personal question - and you don't need to ask this but it might help you to know what brought your therapist to where they are. They may not be comfortable with this question but it doesn't hurt to ask! Perhaps you want to work to work with someone who has similar life experiences as you, or comes from a similar or totally different background. This question might help you gauge that for yourself.
5.What do sessions typically look like with your style of practice?
Note: Every therapist will structure sessions differently, some with a lot of structure and some with none at all and others with minimal structure. This question might be important for you if you know you are someone who likes or dislikes structure, and it might matter depending on what goals you have for your therapeutic process. It is always helpful to know what your therapist is offering so that you can make the best choice for yourself!
Though these are our top 5 questions there are many you could ask! We encourage you to ask questions you feel you need to know before deciding to work with someone in this way. Sometimes they won't answer, or will be curious as to why you want to know the answer to one of the questions. That is all fine! This process is about you both finding out if you are a good fit for one another in terms of style of practice, modality, structure and experience.
Be sure to check out our post coming soon about what to look for within yourself to help you determine if the therapist is the right fit for you!:)
Book a free intake now on our site and try out some of these questions. We can't wait to hear from you!
As usual - stay well,