Having a new psychologist can be the beginning of an incredible and helpful relationship. Whether a friend recommended their therapist or a doctor referred you to a colleague they believe does good work, you probably have some trust in their judgment to listen to them, even though there may be some information you will want to learn for yourself about their background before you begin. Here are eight questions you should ask your new psychologist:
What are your techniques in therapy?
You’ll probably get a sense of their methods once you start your therapy sessions, but it might put you at ease to know their ways of connecting and helping patients ahead of time.
What can I expect during each session?
There may not be a uniform way that your therapist holds a session. If there is a particular activity that your therapist plans on employing in your sessions, this question will help clue you into that.
How is my confidentiality assured?
If confidentiality is a concern for you, as it is for most people, you may want to know how they keep your information. They should be compliant with all laws and rules, and ethical in their dealings. If you psychologist uses smart technology such as Facetime or chat apps, are they HIPAA compliant?
Are you available in case of an emergency, such as on weekends or holidays?
Some, not all, therapists give patients a contact number whenever they need to talk outside of sessions. However, most of the time they are in sessions with other clients, so you will likely have to leave a message and wait for a response. Some may be available after hours, some may not. This is something to discuss with your therapist.
How long are sessions?
A typical session is usually about an hour. Depending on the type of therapist you see and what your goal is, this can be longer. You’ll also want to know for your own scheduling purposes.
How much does a session cost?
If you have insurance, you may have a small copayment. If not, you’ll definitely want to know how much the sessions cost, as they can be costly over time.
What are your typical methods of treatment?
Some psychologists prefer to take more natural, holistic routes of treatment. Others may recommend medications. These will be prescribed by a psychiatrist or your physician.
How did you get into the field of therapy/counseling?
Some patients are skeptical of the motives and abilities of their therapist, especially if they’ve never met with one before. Understanding your therapist’s drive or passion for their career may boost your confidence in their abilities and their desire to help you.
Ask questions that may be specific to your needs or concerns, such as scheduling, past therapy experiences, medications you’re on, whether you are also seeing a psychiatrist if you have any substance abuse concerns, and if you don’t feel safe in your current environment.
You can achieve sexual health with the professionals at Advanced Psychology Partners. Serving patients of all sexual orientation, Advanced Psychology Partners offers personalized, results-oriented therapy in a comfortable, private environment. Choose the therapist you wish to confide in and you will be treated with the utmost discretion, compassion, and respect. To take the first step on the road to recovery, request an appointment today.