Are you considering seeing a psychologist but aren’t sure what to expect? It can be difficult to know whether or not therapy is right for you, but seeking professional help is a courageous first step. Attending therapy involves a significant investment of time and money, so you want to be sure you are getting the most out of your sessions.
Here are some questions to ask a psychologist at your first meeting so you can decide if they are the right fit for you.
49 Questions you can ask a psychologist:
- What is your educational background and experience?
- Are you licensed?
- What is your theoretical orientation (e.g., psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral)?
- How do you typically work with patients?
- What experience do you have treating individuals with my specific concern?
- What interventions do you use?
- What kind of commitments will I need to make outside of our sessions?
- Are there any homework assignments?
- Do you integrate complementary therapies into your practice (e.g., yoga, meditation, Nutrition Therapy)?
- Do you prescribe medication? If so, what is your policy on prescribing medication?
- What are your views on self-help books/courses/therapies?
- What are your policies on confidentiality and sharing information with other health professionals?
- What are the risks and benefits of therapy?
- How much will therapy cost per session?
- Do you offer a sliding scale fee based on income?
- Have you ever been sued or had any licensing investigations against you? If yes, please explain the circumstances surrounding the case(s).
- How did you become interested in psychology?
- What is your area of expertise?
- What are some common misconceptions about psychology?
- How does psychology differ from psychiatry?
- What is the difference between psychological testing and assessment?
- What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
- What is dialectical behavioral therapy?
- What are some other common therapies used by psychologists?
- How do you work with patients?
- How do you deal with difficult cases?
- What are some ethical considerations you have to take into account?
- Do you ever feel like you can’t help someone?
- How do you deal with failure?
- What have been some of your most challenging cases?
- Do you have any success stories you can share?
- How has your work as a psychologist affected your personal life?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share about psychology or your work as a psychologist?
- How do I know if I need to see a psychologist?
- What are the different types of psychologists?
- What is the importance of research in psychology?
- How do psychologists use statistics?
- How is psychological testing done?
- What are some common criticisms of psychological testing?
- What is abnormal psychology, and what are some commonly-studied disorders within this field?
- What causes mental disorders?
- How do psychologists treat mental disorders?
- What is developmental psychology, and how does it differ from other psychological fields?
- What careers are available to psychologists?
- How much education do psychologists need?
- Where do psychologists work?
- What are the most common myths about psychology?
- What do you think is the most important factor in a successful therapy session?
- How do you think therapy can benefit someone’s life?
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.
These are just some of the questions you might want to ask a psychologist before you begin therapy. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your therapist and that they have the experience and style that will work well for you. Asking these questions ahead of time will help you find the right therapist for you and set you up for successful therapy.
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