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What are common questions to ask a psychologist before an appointment?

The most effective technique to initiate contact with a therapist is over the phone or by completing a therapy interest form on a website. Therapists are frequently in the presence of clients and may not always answer their phones immediately. Simply leave your name, phone number, and a brief reason why you are calling. Most therapists will respond by calling you back or providing information on the preferred method of communication.

Once you’ve established contact, the following are some questions you can ask a therapist:

  • Are you currently taking on new clients?
  • What kind of therapists are you? (Do you work with adults, children, teens?)
  • Do you have an area of specialty?
  • Do you have experience assisting individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms or issues like mine?
  • What is your therapy philosophy?
  • Have the treatments you utilize been shown to be beneficial in resolving my issue?
  • Do you offer a sliding-scale policy if I am unable to pay your standard fees?
  • Accept credit cards and personal checks as payment methods?
  • Do you anticipate being paid at the time of service?
  • Accept my insurance policy?
  • Do you have any affiliations with managed care organizations?
  • Are you a Medicare or Medicaid provider?
  • Will you bill my insurance company directly or accept payment from my insurance company?
  • What are your procedures for missing appointments?
  • If you have any specific issues that are deal-breakers for you, discuss them with the therapist. For instance, you may like to consult with a therapist who shares your religious or cultural beliefs. While some therapists are more forthcoming with personal information than others, the response will provide critical information about whether you and the therapist will get along well.

While you are evaluating a therapist, they will be evaluating you as well. To ensure the success of psychotherapy, the therapist must ascertain a suitable fit in terms of need and professional expertise. If the therapist believes the fit is not right—for example, if you require a therapist who provides specialty care — they will refer you to another therapist who can assist.

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