What You Should Ask a Therapist Before You Start

With the pandemic, global headlines, and everything that has been the start of this decade, over 40 million American adults have received mental health treatment or counseling each year since 2020. 

Not only are millions of people seeing therapists, many are doing it for the first time. So if you’ve been considering therapy for the first time, know that you’re not alone. 

The relationship you have with your therapist can be the most important factor in how successful therapy is for you, according to the Colorado therapists at My Denver Therapy.

As much as a therapist will ask you a lot of questions over the course of your time together, you can jumpstart your therapeutic relationship by asking them questions that help you feel confident about the work you’re going to do with them. 

To help you get started, here are some important questions to ask a therapist to help you know what to expect and if they’re the right fit for you:

What can I expect in our first session?

Especially if you’re new to therapy, knowing what to expect in your first session can help ease any nerves you might have and give you confidence that you’re in good hands. 

While you’ll usually do some paperwork, set schedules, and go over pricing, this simple question can help you make sure there are no surprises on Day 1. You’ll also want your therapist to provide an organized, clear answer to this question because you’ll want them to have experience working with people who might be new to therapy.

Are you taking new clients?

We live in a world where the demand for therapy is at or near an all-time high. If you haven’t seen a therapist before, you might be surprised to find that many therapists have long waiting lists or aren’t accepting new clients.

If you live in an area where it seems like every therapist’s schedule is full, find out if you can be added to a waiting list or be placed on standby to take a spot if one of the therapist’s existing clients cancels.

Do you offer in-person or online therapy?

This one is up to you and what works for your schedule and life. Today, 16% of companies in the world are 100% remote, and you might be working at one of those companies. You might be comfortable doing therapy sessions from the comfort of your own home, or you might prefer in-person sessions because it’s more comfortable or convenient for you. 

If you’re seeing a therapist at an office, make sure that you can get sessions that work with your schedule. When you can avoid fighting traffic or feeling rushed to make it to therapy, that can help you come in on-time with a clear mind for your sessions so you can get the most out of them.

Have you worked with someone like me before?

Ideally, you’ll meet with an experienced therapist who has a lot of experience working with someone like you, and it never hurts to do your own research on a therapist before contacting them. Their answer to this question can help you decide if this person has the experience you’re looking for. For example, if you’re a new mother looking for postpartum therapy, you can ask if they have a therapist who specializes in helping people like you.

While every person is unique and no two situations are exactly the same, it can be important for you to feel confident that your therapist knows how to help with the issues you’re bringing to therapy. 

Do you feel comfortable with this person?

This is a big one to ask yourself. Everyone is looking for something from their therapist, and you want to make sure that they seem like the right fit for you. Some people want someone who lets them vent, and others want someone who will challenge them during sessions. You might want a little of both!

Remember that you’re the one paying for therapy, so make sure that you feel comfortable with what they’re saying. You could be sharing some of the most personal parts of your life with this person, even things that you’ve never shared with anyone before, so make sure that they feel like they’re the right fit for you. This part is incredibly important for therapy to be successful for you.