It is a good idea to interview a prospective therapist on the phone before making a first appointment. Almost all therapists offer an initial, free phone consultation. This is also helpful to the therapist, because he has a chance to ascertain whether or not the caller might be a good fit for his particular expertise and way of working. A useful approach is to tell a prospective therapist as much about your problem as you feel comfortable doing. Then ask him how he might approach your problem. You might ask how much experience he has with problems like yours, and how he has addressed them in the past. You can ask how he would describe how he works, and any specific modality he uses. You can ask about his education, years in practice, and any particular specialty training he might have. Therapists have a wide range of approaches to working with children, so if you are calling for your child or for your family, it is important to ask about his methodology concerning children and adolescents. You might want to know how confidentiality works when more than one family member is seen. This is also a good question when it comes to couples counseling. You will also want to know about insurance, fees, and scheduling appointments. You may have other important questions. However, as you ask questions, you are also getting an opportunity to get a sense of the therapist as a person, and whether you think you would feel comfortable initiating a professional relationship with this particular person.
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