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Top 12 Questions to Ask Your Potential Therapist

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

James knew something was wrong. He was depressed and he noticed his alcohol consumption had doubled. He found the only way to not feel depressed was to drink. He was a happy drunk and Crown Royal did the trick. It made him feel better until it wore off. He was miserable. He just got a divorced and he lost his business. Fortunately, he had a job he liked, but he worked long hours. James was tired of feeling downtrodden and no longer wanted to use alcohol to feel better. He decided that maybe going into counseling would be a good idea to help get his head straight and help him reach his goals. He wondered where he should start.

The first time you look for a counselor or therapist, you need to shop around to see where the best fit for you is. Sometimes insurance companies put limitations on your search. There may be limited availability of counselors or therapists where you live who take your insurance. There may be waiting lists. There are many factors that a person looking for a counselor/therapist needs to take into account. Once you find one, there are some questions you may want to ask and conduct your own interview of the therapist to see if they can meet your needs. You might be saying about now, "What kinds of questions should I be asking?"

1. What is your training?

2. Are you licensed in your field?

3. What is your theoretical orientation?

4. Are you trained to treat what is going on with me?

5. What should I expect from counseling?

6. How long do you recommend counseling?

7. What is your availability? Do you have a flexible schedule?

8. If I have an emergency, is there a way I can get in touch with you?

9. What if I have to cancel our appointment? What do I have to do?

10. Do you charge for missed appoints? How much?

11. How far in advance do I need to cancel an appointment?

12. Do you work with a psychiatrist? Do you stay in contact with him/her?

These are the top twelve questions you want to ask from your potential therapist. You are paying for their services and you need to know what you are getting into. They will most likely charge for this first session. Do your research. Find out about the practice. Most people have a website for their business and that may be a launching point for figuring out what questions you need to ask. It also might answer some of your questions. You can always call and ask if they have a website and if you could have that. That will save you a charge.

I cannot tell you how important it is to find out the information you need from your potential counselor/therapist. Once you find out this information, you need to make a decision of what you want to do. Showing up to a therapist's office, finding out the right information, being in agreement with it, and then deciding you don't know whether you want counseling or not or you are not ready for it, is a waste of your time and the therapist's time. When you know you have a problem and you need help, then is the time to get it.

Counseling takes time. It takes a level of commitment. You have to be ready or it will not work. Therapy matures with age, like any fine wine. It takes time to get to know your therapist and her style and it takes time for her to get to know you. Are you ready to take the plunge? You need to know what therapy has to offer and what to ask to find out that information. Do your research and make sure you are ready. Life has so much to offer.

Carolyn L. Nelson is a licensed clinical social worker who has been in the field over 20 years. She writes for her Blog at

She also can be reached at her website at

Source: EzineArticles
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