What to expect during a therapy consultation

Jennifer MitchellPsychotherapy

Many practices, including Serenity Now Wellness, offer free 15-minute consultations for potential clients. This is one way to experience if the therapist may be a good fit for you. However, potential clients may not always know what questions to ask or what to expect during a consult.

What to expect, and items you may want to consider during consultation:  

  • The therapist will want to briefly hear about what you are wanting support with. Since they can only work in their area of competency, they want to ensure they are the best fit for your concern
  • The therapist may share how they work with clients, what treatment modalities they use, how they structure a session or help you understand what you can expect from your work together
  • The therapist may share what populations they work with; for example, some therapists may only work with adults.
  • Your potential therapist should be transparent about their scheduling and fees, including:
    • Times and days they work
    • If they have sliding scale spots
    • If they can direct bill your insurance or not 
    • If they offer online options
  • They may provide you with referrals if they are not the right fit your needs
  • You are under no obligation to book with the therapist 

Don’t be afraid to ask any question that may help determine if they will be a fit. Some additional questions I’ve been asked over the years:

  • How long have you been a therapist?
  • What are your specialties?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Are you trauma informed?
  • How frequent should I come to therapy and for how long? 
  • Do you give homework? Is homework necessary? 
  • What additional trainings do you have?

Remember, a consultation is not therapy and doing a consultation does not mean you’ve entered a therapeutic relationship with the therapist. Because it’s not a session, the therapist may not allow too much disclosure; this is to protect you and the therapist, who cannot provide therapeutic intervention without a signed consent form. 

Taking the first step to reach out can be scary and a consult is one way to help ease some of those anxieties. If our therapists are taking new clients, they typically offer free consults. Booking can be done through the website, www.serenitynowwellness.ca or by calling 403-454-7600.