We are happy to hear you've taken our advise and are therapist shopping! Step one one: done!
Now... you've got some consults booked and don't know what to ask - we've got you covered. Here are our top questions that you should ask to feel better prepared entering a free consultation and to help you leave feeling better.
What is your background ie: educational background, licensing and work background/experience?
What psychotherapy model do use most in your practice and what about this model do you connect with?
How do you structure your sessions if at all?
What are ways that you take care of yourself/manage your time?
What can I expect after this call?
KEY POINTS HERE:
This is your time to see if this person is a good fit so you need some information to do that.
We find these questions tackle several levels: personal and professional.
You want to make sure your therapist is experienced, licensed and able to provide you the services you want (see question 2). You also need to know what kind of therapy they practice ie: are they a CBT therapist, DBT therapist, Person Centered.... the list goes on. This model should match the way you want to work in therapy and should also be clear to you to a certain degree (see question 1). It can help to know why they've chosen to practice this way and what brings them to this way of working; this sheds light on their values as a therapist and intentions in working (see question 1). Ideally, these match your own. It is crucial that therapists take care of themselves so that they can show up with clients in the best way possible. Self care is so valuable (even for us) so (see question 4). This also speaks a little about them on a personal level. They may not want to disclose a whole lot here - and that is okay! You also need to know what steps are next, how does their booking system work, when will we talk about the details of things such as consent and confidentiality.
One thing we can't stress enough: ask yourself: how do I feel in presence of this person? Do I feel they are able to help me? Do I relate to their way of therapy and is that the process I want on this journey?
During this session you can also expect that the therapist will want to give you some information, so maybe they've got some of these questions covered! They should be telling you about their fees, next steps, process of working and primary therapeutic model and should also be asking you about your primary reason for reaching out to them. There is no "right or wrong" information to include here but it is important you both determine whether this is a right fit or not.
This is NOT an exhaustive list and you can take some questions out, you can add some in or you can ask none at all and let them guide the way. We are also happy to hear if you have any favourite questions you like to ask while therapist shopping, so comment them below.
Anyways, happy shopping!