When you've narrowed your search down to therapists in your area that appear to specialize in what you are looking for and you've scheduled a phone consultation with them or with the one that you feel most drawn to, you're probably wondering what to expect during the call. Here are some suggestions for what you can talk about, questions to ask and what to be thinking about during the call.
Most therapists will ask you what you are looking for in therapy. This is your opportunity to give them a brief description of the issues you want to work on in therapy. Because phone consultations are usually 15 minutes in length, the therapist will likely not go too deep into your issues. However, they will ask questions, if neccessary, to get an idea of what you're struggling with and will be assessing for various techniques that has worked in the past.
The topic of whether you want to use private pay or use insurance will come up during the conversation. Let them know what insurance you use. If the therapist does not accept your insurance or any insurance, they will talk to you about how out-of-network payments work. If they do accept your insurance, the therapist will give you information about what they need from you.
If you and the therapist sense it is a good fit based on what you need, how the therapist can help, location and other logistics, scheduling will take place during the call. Some therapist may have limited availability and may put you on a waiting list.
Once you've decided on a day/time to meet, some therapists may direct you to their website to complete intake forms. This is helpful for both you and the therapist. Filling out forms in the office can take up valuable time that you could be spending on talking about the issues you want to focus on in therapy.
While you are talking to the therapist, you'll probably sense right away if you want to take the next step with them. In any case, ask yourself these questions, especially if you are unsure: Do you feel some kind of connection with them? Does it seem like you can open up to them? Do you feel comfortable? Does their tone, energy and choice of words put you at ease or energize you or calm you? Bottom line, if you feel a connection and a sense of comfort, it's likely a good fit and you'll know.
If for any reason it doesn't seem to work out, it's OK. The therapist can try to give you referrals for other therapists that can better help you! Again, it's important that both you and the therapist feel right about the match because the relationship between you is an essential part of why therapy works.