Avadhi Sharma – Empower. Thrive. Transcend

Questions to ask your therapist before the first session

It is a significant decision to decide to begin therapy to address a mental health state or personal concern as it entails considerable time, money, and effort. Now you probably realized you needed a therapist at some point and turned to Google in order to find someone who would be compatible with you.

There are several different approaches and types of therapy. It is common for most therapists to provide a free initial consultation, which may be conducted in person, over the phone, or virtually. An initial consultation with a potential therapist helps you determine what kind of therapy and therapist would work best for you and understand how they would approach, identify, and solve your problem.

What are some of the questions you need to ask your therapist?

The initial consultation is an opportunity to ask few quick questions to the therapist and see how you feel about their response. In a first conversation, some people might find it too daunting to ask a question. In such cases, you may be able to send an email or message to the therapist before your initial appointment. This will enable them to know where you stand and also allow them to prepare in advance.

Here are a few questions you can ask your therapist before you fix on one.

  1. What should I expect when it comes to therapy?

First and foremost you should know that when you share your thoughts, feelings, insecurities and experiences with your therapist, you do not have to fear judgment, criticism, or condemnation. A therapist’s most critical responsibility is to maintain a non-judgmental environment. Ask and understand the counselor’s general philosophy and approach to helping. Embrace the fact that your therapist is there to listen to you, support you, facilitate your growth, and challenge you in a positive way.

  1. How many sessions will the therapy take?

Experienced counsellors can help you have a Road Map of how your sessions will progress and an indication of how you will know when the therapy will be over.

  1. Will the therapy work if I take a longer break between the sessions?

Most of the time, it’s based on your individual circumstances and your counselor’s recommendations. In general, individuals suffering from anxiety and depression are advised against such long breaks.

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to treatment?

People suffering from troubling symptoms, trauma, or loss often find therapy to be an overwhelming endeavor. Counselors have their own unique counseling techniques and consider specific challenges and disorders based on their area of study, comfort level, and approach. For example, if you are looking for more Humanistic/Client-Centered Counseling, you might want to consider Avadhi Sharma, who specializes in energy healing and humanistic and client centric approach to counseling.

  1. Do you have experience working with people who have concerns similar to mine?

A therapist who has experience treating concerns similar to yours is usually helpful. Therapists often specialize in certain areas of counseling, such as anxiety, relationship problems, PTSD, etc. The problem you are facing would be something experienced therapists have seen over and over again, broadening their perspective and giving them a deeper understanding.

  1. When can I see an improvement & how will we assess my progress?

In therapy, healing doesn’t happen on a set schedule. Thus, it is possible that you are progressing in some areas while regressing in others.

With the help of your therapist, you would’ve created short-term and long-term plans for the therapy sessions. Progress will be measured based on these goals that were set at the beginning. Eventually, you should begin to see improvement in your issues and feel more positive about therapy.

  1. What should I do if I don’t feel better?

Ideally, you should sit through a few sessions with a therapist before deciding whether you plan to continue seeing them. Understand if they are more directive or more guiding. However, if they don’t work for you, there’s nothing wrong with letting your therapist know. Counseling is a deep and personal experience that encompasses both parties. So both you and your therapist have to be compatible for therapy to be successful.

In another scenario, you could not be feeling better or dislike the therapist since they made you confront things about yourself that made you work harder to achieve your goals (similar to a personal gym trainer). Know that your well-being is at the heart of the session. Your therapist might suggest ideas that you are uncomfortable with or might not like to hear, but just remember that the therapist believes in you and wants to help you.

  1. How do I prepare for my first session?

It’s always better to prepare before your first session. Making notes about your thoughts and feelings throughout the week may help you present your thoughts more effectively to the therapist. Prior to the first session, you can also discuss what the therapist expects from you.

  1. Will I have to do anything outside my sessions while I am undergoing therapy?

To see lasting change and results, you’ll need to put in work outside of each session. The therapist assigns you certain homework assignments to encourage you to implement your new thought process and put into practice what you have now learned

  1. Can I contact you personally if there is an emergency or after the sessions are over?

This varies from therapist to therapist. Even after sessions are over, many therapists let their patients continue talking to them for a certain time period. In addition, a person can seek assistance from their therapist if emergency situations arise or if they suffer panic attacks.

Seek Therapy

These are a few questions to help you develop a rapport with your therapist. It is crucial to work with a competent therapist for effective therapy as it will be will be a life-changing experience. It is therefore imperative to do your research and seek help for your issue regardless of how minor, major, or complex it is. Getting therapy is much more likely to be effective if you find someone you feel comfortable talking to and who you believe will invest time and energy into helping you grow and change. Through therapy, one can achieve a deeper sense of well-being and happiness.