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Questions to ask on your first therapy session

It is a brave step to ask for help. It is intelligent to know the best means to get that help and to ensure that help, helps in full.

Thus, here are 10 questions to ask your therapist to get the most out of your therapy sessions.

  1. How often do you anticipate seeing me? For how long?

The purpose of this question is for you to know what your schedule with your therapist would be like. It does not just put into perspective the calendar for you and your therapist's session but also, takes into account the time you and your therapist would be spending on solving, resolving, and understanding the problem you went to them for. This time spent may vary from therapist to therapist as well as to approach-to-approach. A typical session is 45-60 mins long, once a week,  and it may go up to 3 months.

  1. What will a typical session be like?

This question is essential for two reasons,

A.      It helps with the preparation of each session.

B.    To keep track of the journey of healing.

When it comes to therapy is it not just the therapist that requires to work, it is also you as the patient who needs to watch, pay attention, and make concise changes accordingly. This does exactly that, it highlights the aspects of this healing process that you and your therapist would embark upon and ensure you get what was intended off of it.

  1. What kind of homework or reading do you give to your patients? What preparations should I do for the session?

A strategy for your therapy would help put things into perspective. This question ensures that not just your therapist but also you are expected to work consciously toward your goal of healing. Knowing your homework or reading would help you know the problem and look for gaps and fill them mindfully with behaviors, acts, and thoughts that would help mend the distortion you are facing.

  1. Have you been to therapy yourself?

This question might seem to be uncommon, but you would be surprised to know how often it is asked. Its purpose is simple, it humanizes the therapist and helps the client understand that the therapist has also been in the same chair as them and so they understand what they must be going through.

  1. What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor?

This is a classic question. This is more about ensuring that your therapist is simply a self-reflective person or not. After all, the therapist is still a person and like us, they too undergo mental tolls and ups and downs of life.

  1. How long have you been practicing?

This question again is a classic, it is for you to know the efficiency of your treatment and the expertise of your doctor. Both of these would in return help you chart your course and achieve your healing goals yet again with efficiency.

  1. How many clients have you had with similar circumstances to my own? When was the last time you worked with someone similar to me?

This question tells you about the efficiency of your therapist, to ensure that you get the treatment you need. It will tell you more about the areas of expertise of your therapist and help you realize how equipped they are to handle your issues.

  1. Are you licensed to provide mental health treatment? Do you have any certifications?

This question helps you not just know more about your therapist but also helps you know their specialization along with the approaches they are well-versed in to help you to the best of your ability. There are different licensed professional therapists that could help you with your specific problems.

  1. How effective do you think therapy would be in treating my problem?

This question again is to ensure that you get the therapy and help that you paid for while making sure that the healing which you need reaches you.

  1. What I say is confidential. Can I trust you to keep it that way?

When it comes to therapy, we reveal much confidential information. Make sure you confirm this because it is important not just for the therapist but also for you to know that no sensitive information is mishandled. It is also important to ensure this as some information is of extra sensitive nature and cannot always be resolved with therapy alone, for example, topics like abuse or assault, need to be dealt with more strictly. Thus, ensuring that you are helped in the most appropriate manner, choose to be informed and specified.   

Therapy is a system of safe communication that was built to help you resolve your issues by simply putting them into perspective. It is there for you to know that you are not just safe but also capable of leading a life both mentally and emotionally healthy.