Choosing the right therapist has a big impact on the outcome of therapy. It does not need to be an overwhelming or stressful experience. It is a good idea to interview several therapists before making your first appointment. During your initial conversation with each therapist you may want to ask some of the following questions:
- How long have you been doing therapy?
- What is your therapeutic approach or style?
- Do you primarily listen or are you interactive?
- What do you specialize in? What issues are NOT within your areas of specialty?
- Do you equip clients with practical coping strategies?
- How will I know when I am finished with therapy? Are you goal-oriented?
- Will you refer me to another therapist if you think that is in my best interest?
- What clinical experience do you have helping people like me?
- How do you think you can help me?
- Are you available between sessions if I need to talk to you?
- What are your strengthes and weaknesses as a therapist?
- Did you go to a Christian school to do your graduate studies?
- How do you integrate Christian principles into the therapy sessions?
During the first session with the therapist you have chosen, it is a good idea to evaluate the goodness of "fit" between yourself and the therapist. Are you comfortable sharing delicate information with this therapist? Are you comfortable in their office? Do you like the therapist's personality? Do you feel that you can trust this therapist? Do you think this therapist can help you? Trust your gut. If you know it is not a good fit, call a different therapist. Therapists come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to shop around.