99 Questions to Ask a Psychologist

Have you ever sat down with a psychologist—opening up your deepest thoughts and fears, and found yourself at a loss of what to ask next? Well, you’re not alone.

Many of us understand the value of psychology in our lives, but we don’t always have the right questions at our fingertips. Talking to a psychologist can be a transformative experience, whether you are considering therapy, interested in a career in psychology, or simply seeking a broader understanding of mental health.

Keep in mind that our conversations with psychologists should be enlightening and therapeutic. This list of questions is your guide to keep the dialogue flowing and meaningful, aiding in your journey to mental wellness, career decisions, or curiosity about psychology.

Maximizing Therapy Sessions

  1. What should I talk about in my therapy sessions?
  2. How can I make the most of each session?
  3. Is there a “right way” to do therapy?
  4. How can I measure progress in my therapy?
  5. Should I come to sessions with goals in mind?
  6. What should I do when a session feels unproductive?
  7. How do I know when I’m ready to end therapy?
  8. How can I apply what I’ve learned in therapy to my everyday life?
  9. Is it okay to cry during sessions?
  10. Should I share thoughts and feelings that make me uncomfortable?
  11. What if I don’t know what to talk about during a session?
  12. Is it normal to feel worse after a therapy session?
  13. How do I remember everything discussed in therapy?
  14. Can I contact my psychologist outside of sessions?
  15. How long should I stay with the same psychologist?
  16. What strategies can I use to deal with emotions triggered by therapy?
  17. How do I bring up tough topics in therapy?

Psychology Careers

  1. What are the different areas of psychology I can specialize in?
  2. What is the career trajectory for a psychologist?
  3. What kind of training or education is required to become a psychologist?
  4. What are some of the challenges in the career of a psychologist?
  5. What’s the most rewarding part of your career?
  6. Can you share some of your experiences working in different areas of psychology?
  7. What advice would you give those considering a career in psychology?
  8. How have you managed the emotional impact of this work?
  9. How is the job market for psychologists?
  10. What opportunities for advancement exist in this field?
  11. Do psychologists have to take continuing education courses?
  12. Are there any specialties in high demand?
  13. What’s a day in your life like?
  14. How have you maintained work-life balance as a psychologist?
  15. What’s one thing you wish you knew before becoming a psychologist?
  16. What was the toughest part of your journey to becoming a psychologist?
  17. How do you keep up with the latest research and developments in psychology?

Mental Health Interests

  1. What trends are you seeing in mental health today?
  2. How important are exercise and diet in maintaining mental health?
  3. Can you recommend resources for learning more about mental health?
  4. How can we challenge and change stigmas around mental health?
  5. How do you approach treatment plans for different disorders?
  6. How have mental health treatments evolved over time?
  7. How do other areas of health connect with mental health?
  8. Can you talk about the connection between mental health and social relationships?
  9. How does socioeconomic status affect mental health?
  10. Can you discuss how mental health is depicted in media, like movies and TV shows?
  11. What’s the most misunderstood thing about mental health?
  12. Does everyone struggle with mental health at some point in their life?
  13. How does trauma affect mental health?
  14. Can you discuss the relationship between grief and mental health?
  15. What’s the most challenging mental health disorder to treat?

Therapy Process

  1. How does therapy work?
  2. What is the process of cognitive-behavioral therapy?
  3. How different is group therapy from individual therapy?
  4. Why would someone need family therapy?
  5. How do you use play therapy with children?
  6. What kind of tools or methods do you use in therapy?
  7. How can I prepare for my first therapy session?
  8. How often should I attend therapy sessions?
  9. How do you handle confidentiality in therapy?
  10. How are therapy goals set and tracked?
  11. Can you discuss the milestones in a therapy process?
  12. How and when are different therapy techniques applied?
  13. What’s the role of medications in therapy?
  14. What happens if we disagree on something in therapy?
  15. How are therapy outcomes evaluated?
  16. Can therapy sessions be done remotely?
  17. How does therapy help in crisis situations?

Specific Mental Health Queries

  1. How do you diagnose specific mental health issues?
  2. How does therapy for depression work?
  3. How is anxiety treated in therapy?
  4. Can you explain the therapy process for someone with PTSD?
  5. What’s the therapy approach for borderline personality disorder?
  6. How does therapy approach eating disorders?
  7. How do you manage therapy for someone with bipolar disorder?
  8. How do you approach therapy with a person diagnosed with schizophrenia?
  9. What’s the role of medication in the treatment of ADHD?
  10. How do you treat OCD in therapy?
  11. How can therapy help in overcoming substance abuse?
  12. Is there a different approach to therapy for children with Autism?
  13. How does therapy help with grief and loss?
  14. How effective is therapy for managing chronic stress?
  15. Can therapy help with gender dysphoria?
  16. How are phobias treated in therapy?
  17. What are the therapeutic approaches to treating insomnia?

Therapist’s Approach

  1. What’s your approach to therapy?
  2. How do your personal values affect your practice?
  3. How do you handle tough or resistant clients?
  4. How diverse is your clientele?
  5. How do you approach working with clients from different backgrounds/cultures?
  6. How have you changed as a therapist throughout your career?
  7. Can you explain your code of ethics?
  8. How do you handle feedback from clients?
  9. How is your therapy approach tailored to individual clients’ needs?
  10. What’s one thing you want all clients to understand about therapy?
  11. How do you handle clients who aren’t seeing progress?
  12. How do you approach clients with different orientations (LGBTQIA+ individuals)?
  13. What’s your stance on therapy homework?
  14. How do you handle biases in therapy?
  15. How do you deal with potential conflicts of interest?
  16. How do you ensure the emotional safety of your clients?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prepare for a psychologist visit?

Most people feel anxious before seeing a psychologist, even if they have been going for years. The best way to prepare yourself is to be honest with yourself and your psychologist. Be prepared to talk about the good and bad things in your life and answer questions honestly and openly.

Ask your psychologist for clarification if you are unsure about answering a question. Come to your appointment with an open mind and be prepared to work together to find solutions to your problems.

What happens on your first visit to a psychologist?

When you first go to see a psychologist, you’ll probably be asked to give some background information about yourself, such as your name, age, and profession. You will also be asked about your mental health history, including any previous diagnoses you may have received.

The psychologist will then ask you a series of questions about your current symptoms and how they’re affecting your life. They may also ask you to complete some self-assessment tests. Based on the results of these assessments, the psychologist will create a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

Final Thoughts

Your interactions with a psychologist can significantly impact your grasp of mental health, emotions, and behaviors. To make those interactions valuable and effective, it is essential to ask the right questions that aim for clarity and align with the psychologist’s approach.

The list of questions I’ve put together aims to make your discussions with psychologists more enlightening—providing direction for varied interactions. Every question brings you a step closer to insight, so muster your courage and don’t hesitate to ask.

As we tie up this conversation, remember that learning and exploring are continuous processes in the realms of psychology. With better understanding and insightful questioning, you’re poised to make significant strides toward improved mental wellness. Stick with it!

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant. When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.