What Do I Ask in a Counseling Consult Call?
So you read my last blog about how to find a therapist in Sacramento and now you have a few that seem to have potential. They all mentioned doing a consultation and maybe you scheduled a few. Now comes the time where you need to ask the right questions to get what you need to make an informed decision. What do I say? What is appropriate to ask? Let’s get into it.
Questions to ask a Therapist in Sacramento
Talking to someone for the first time, especially on the phone these days, can cause anxiety for some. We are nervous too! We answer the phone hoping we have the right words for you and can be unsure of what you may need. We always hope we are right for whoever calls, because we know how challenging it can be to search around.
Tell them the highlights about your concerns. What has led you to seek treatment for you or your child? This gives the therapist an opportunity to see if they even have the experience or training for your needs before you get too far into the process.
You can say, “Tell me about your experience with my specific needs.” Listen for a sense of confidence in them that sets you at ease. It should not feel like they are convincing you, it should feel like a no brainer.
How often do I need to have a session and how long do you expect services will last? The requirements may vary for different therapists. For my practice, I encourage parents to bring their children in weekly for the first 4-8 weeks to establish a connection and allow for quality assessment of needs. This is not always possible due to schedule and budget, but it's a starting point. Other therapists may have other constraints that do not work for you. Length of services can depend on the type of therapy…a therapist using primarily Solution Focused or EMDR therapies may use a shorter timeline than someone using a Psychodynamic approach.
Which leads to the point of asking clarification questions…if a therapist talks about types of therapy approaches, or other “therapy terms” that are not clear to you, ask them to give a short overview of what that means. You should leave the consult with a clear starting plan and an understanding of what to expect in treatment with this therapist.
What is your fee? Do you accept insurance? Most therapists have their insurance plans listed on a website or indicate if they are private pay. You can also ask about any sliding scale or options for lower payments if they have them available. For me, if a client is unable to meet my fee I can support them in finding another provider that will fit their needs and offer a fee they can manage. Clarity of need and expectations is important in this conversation.
Schedule a Call With Me
I hope this helps you find the right therapist in Sacramento. If you are still feeling stuck, feel free to call me at (916) 538-9953 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear about what is happening and help direct you to the right person. If you are looking for help with your child or teen, you can read more about how I can help here.