Things to consider when interviewing a therapist:

1.  Pay attention to how you feel when speaking on the phone with the therapist.  Do you feel comfortable?  Does your gut reaction tell you that this is a therapist that you will feel comfortable talking to, will “get” you, and will be able to help you?  Therapy is about trust.  If you don’t trust your therapist you are wasting your time and money.

2.  If you have particular cultural or religious beliefs, be open and upfront with the therapist about them in your initial phone conversation.  You are going to someone for help, not to be judged.  If a therapist isn’t comfortable with your beliefs, value system, sexual orientation, etc.  then do not feel guilted into making an appointment.  Seek another therapist!

3.  Briefly tell the prospective therapist why you are seeking therapy at this time.  Ask if they have previously treated clients presenting with your issues.  You don’t want to be a therapist’s test case.  You are paying money for an expert to help you.

4. Ask whether the therapist will give you input and suggestions or simply sit there, nod her head and listen. If you want the former, it is important to know you’ll receive it.

5. Once you feel comfortable with the therapist over the phone, it is time to make an appointment.   If you want to use your insurance call your insurance company yourself to double check that the therapist is on their insurance panel. Also, many insurance companies require that you are pre-authorized for services before seeing a therapist.  If you don’t follow their rules exactly, you will be responsible for paying the therapist directly. You may want to ask the therapist how much of your session will be revealed to the insurance company.  Some insurance companies ask for more session details than others.

Due to reasons regarding confidentiality, more and more people who have insurance choose not to use it.   Ask the therapist what she charges per session.  If the fee is more than you expected, feel free to ask if the therapist has a sliding scale or if she can refer you to another therapist within your budget.

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