Step 2: Contacting a few therapists
Contact at least two therapists before selecting one to work with. This will give you a sense of choice and point of reference to evaluate which therapist you are more comfortable working with.
Contacting them for the first time:
Contact the therapist by phone or email, and here is a sample script to help you know what to say:
- “Hi, I am looking for a therapist for myself. Are you taking on new clients?”
- “Great, can I ask you a few questions? Do you use any specific approach for therapy? Can you tell me more about your training? Do you have experience working with [xyz issue]? What are your fees?”
- “I’d like to meet you to see if we are a good fit. Can we schedule an appointment? Where is your office?”
Meeting them for the first time:
- During your first session, you’ll start with sharing what issues you’re facing and why you’re seeking therapy. This will be your chance to observe how they respond to you and how comfortable you feel with them.
- Before you get started though, let them know that you’d like to have ten minutes at the end to ask a few questions. Notice if they’re respectful of that. These questions could include:
- What is your approach in therapy? What techniques do you draw from?
- How do you think therapy can help me? What can I expect?
- What experience do you have working on issues such as mine?
- Can you tell me a little more about your training in therapy?
- Have you been through therapy yourself? For how long? [This is an important question: A good therapist is one who has worked on themselves adequately]
- Don’t be shy about asking questions - good, trained therapists value their training and the importance of compatibility with a client. They shouldn’t be desperate to win you over.
- Finally, unless you’re sure you don’t want to work with them, go over some practical issues like cost, their schedule and availability, and frequency of sessions. If affordability is an issue, share your circumstances with them and check if they are open to reducing their fees.
- When the session ends, either schedule your next session with them (which can be cancelled if you decide not to see them again) or let them know that you are meeting a few therapists first and will get back to them to schedule the next session.