New Therapist: best things to ask at first appointment?
June 2, 2014 10:02 PM Subscribe
What kinds of things should I be asking about/finding out while I'm shopping around for a new therapist?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I have a list of things I'm looking for in a therapist, know what treatment modalities I'm hoping they'll use, know what problems I hope to address, etc. but I am having trouble making these into questions that can easily be asked when we first meet.
Whenever I've "shopped around" before, I looked at it as a 'gosh, will they be willing to take me on as a patient', not 'what will I get out of this, as the consumer'. As a result, I ended up seeing a lot of people who were bad matches for me for short periods of time, or people who did things that were unsafe or not useful for me that I hadn't know to check for, and asking basically no questions in the initial interview.
Now, I find myself saying a lot of vague things like "How do you generally...work with patients?" instead of concrete questions that express what I really want to know. If you have had this experience, what kinds of things did you ask that were helpful in teasing out a good doctor? What kinds of things should I think of that I'm not thinking of to prepare? It would be great to have a list to take with me for my next appointment.
I'm also interested in getting an updated/more correct diagnosis than the one I already have (or at least check off ticky boxes with my current symptoms or something), but I have no idea how to bring this up. Would that be a thing taken care of in the intake?
Also, do therapists always make you pay for the first face-to-face meeting? I know phone consults are often free, but it seems like this varies a lot.
Thank you for your answers in advance. I thought I knew a lot more about this than it turns out I actually do.