What do you do next? How do you make a final choice?
Start with setting up a phone call with the therapist. If the therapist offers a free consultation, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to interview the therapist and see how he or she responds to your questions in the moment. This consultation can also give you a sense of what it might be like to work with this therapist.
Here are some questions to guide you in the decision-making process:
- What experience or training do you have with the problems I am experiencing?
- What will therapy with you be like?
- What is your philosophy or approach to doing therapy?
- What is expected of me as a client?
- What happens if I have to cancel?
- What happens if I am late to a session?
- What is/isn’t confidential?
- How do I get in touch with you between sessions?
The first session is an opportunity for you to evaluate the fit between you and the therapist. If the fit doesn’t feel right, it’s OK to look for another therapist. It just means that therapist is not the right therapist for you. Some things to think about regarding the first session.
- Does the therapist’s office feel comfortable?
- Do you feel like the therapist gets you?
- Is the therapist a good listener?
- Do you feel that the therapist is open-minded and non-judgmental?
- Do you feel like the therapist really cares about you and your concerns?
Research shows that the single factor that contributes to therapy having a successful outcome is the relationship between the therapist and client so it is really important that you feel comfortable with whoever you choose.