4 Questions to Ask Your New Therapist
If you’re shopping around for effective psychotherapy sessions, there are understandably some concerns you might have.
That’s why today’s post is all about the 4 questions you can ask your new therapist to see if they’re a good fit. Hopefully, you can get the answers and find yourself on the road to better emotional and mental health soon.
“Will everything I say in our sessions be kept confidential?”
If you can expect your family lawyer to keep their attorney-client confidentiality, should you bank on the same situation with your psychologist in all your sessions?
For the most part, yes, details of all your sessions will be kept in strict confidence between yourself and your therapist. However, certain circumstances that might require them to report to other professionals or the authorities can bend this particular rule.
For instance, if there’s a threat of suicide or violence (whether to one’s self or to others), a therapist should take it seriously and act appropriately. Therapists are trained to identify situations when they are legally obliged to break confidentiality so they can keep their patients safe.
“Would you confuse me with your other patients?”
The best life coaches are those who can guide their clients through challenging phases in their lives based on their lifestyles, personalities, careers, and other personal details.
This level of customised and personalized approach is something that psychiatrists are expected to use on their patients, as well. It’s understandable that, while your diagnosis may not be uncommon, you’d want to be heard and treated according to what you’re going through.
So expect your therapist to focus on you during your sessions and to not confuse you with other patients. Not only is this unprofessional, but it also gives you a glimpse of how you’re just a statistic for them and not someone with your own unique challenges in life.
“Have you seen a patient with similar issues to mine before?”
When you’re going through something tough and heartbreaking, you might feel like you’re the only person in the world who’s ever suffered from it.
This is especially true of patients who are undergoing grief counselling because of the death of a loved one, or a couple in marriage counselling trying to save a union.
So go ahead and ask your future therapist if they’ve dealt with issues and experiences similar to yours if it will make you feel seen and heard. And if your therapist specializes in these kinds of counselling, it’s fine to want to know how you’ll be treated as an individual with your core issues in mind.
“Will I be on prescribed medication for the rest of my life?”
If you aren’t comfortable about the thought of being on medication permanently, it’s fine to bring up your concerns with your new therapist. However, be prepared for brutally honest answers that will depend on your diagnosis, and how long or often you’ve been having your issues.
Teens seeking mental health care, in particular, might have a hard time with the side effects of certain anti-depressants and medication as it could disrupt concentration and focus. But if symptoms can be relieved by alternative non-invasive therapies like neurofeedback, then it might be worth exploring it with your therapist.
Or they could recommend public or private healthcare financing options if the issue of medicine costs arise.