Questions to Ask Before and During an Initial Therapy Appointment
There are many questions that should be asked prior to and during an initial therapy appointment in order to be informed and ensure the appointment goes smoothly. When first scheduling an appointment, many therapists offer an initial consultation or brief call in which questions can be asked.
Examples of questions for basic logistics include the following:
- Are you currently accepting new patients?
- Will appointments be virtual or in-person? If in-person, what is the address of your office?
- What are the hours during which appointments can be scheduled?
- What insurance plans do you accept?
- If insurance is not used or accepted, what costs can be expected? Is a sliding scale or payment plan an option?
Other questions concerning the therapist’s qualifications and experience may include the following:
- What licenses or certifications do you hold?
- What is your educational background?
- How many years have you been in practice?
- How much experience do you have treating individuals with my condition or in my situation?
- If I need medication, can you prescribe it or recommend someone who can?
Some questions may help with understanding what to expect during therapy and provide insight into whether the therapist is a good fit. Examples include the following:
- What does a typical appointment entail? What is the length of an appointment?
- How often and for how long would you anticipate seeing me?
- What do you think is the ultimate goal for my treatment plan?
- What type or types of treatments do you foresee utilizing for me?
- How will my progress be monitored during therapy?
- Do you give reading assignments or other homework between appointments?
- How should I prepare for my first appointment?
Asking questions before and during the first therapy appointment can help ensure that the patient and therapist are compatible. This can make the appointment go effortlessly and ease any anxiety concerning the appointment. Therapists are accustomed to answering questions; therefore, individuals should not be afraid to ask.
Additional sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness and Washingtonian