Questions for a potential therapist

Here are some questions that might help you during your initial inquiry with a potential provider – you might ask these kinds of questions during an initial phone call and/or during your early in-person sessions: 

  • What is their educational training and academic degree?
  • Are they licensed by a Professional Board? If so, which one? 
  • How many years have they been working as a mental health provider? (If important to you, ask them to elaborate about their clinical experience.)
  • What is their level of experience working with survivors of sexual abuse? (And especially about their experience working with male survivors.)
  • How do they describe their approach to working with clients? Any particular approaches to working with survivors?
  • What is their level of experience working with special issues that may be important to you as a survivor -  for example, dissociation, addictions, somatic problems, etc.
  • How much experience do they have working with issues of sexual and gender diversity; racial, ethnic, and/or cultural diversity – and any other aspects of your identity that are important to you?  (If these matters are important to you.)
  • Do they have supervision/consultation available to them? 
  • Has a complaint ever been filed against them? 
  • What is their fee? What is their policy about billing or payment (if this is important to you)?
  • If you have limited financial resources, do they offer services on a sliding scale or do they allow special financial arrangements that respond to any particular financial needs you may have? (Agencies can be helpful for a sliding scale fee structure. Be aware that many agencies may be field placements for graduate students or interns. If this is the case, it will be important that you know they have supervision from an experienced therapist.)
  • What is their policy on cancellation or "no show"? 
  • What logistical and financial policies do they have regarding emergency contact or telephone calls between sessions?
  • What is their policy on confidentiality?
  • Is the therapist curious about who you are and what you want?
  • Any other questions that may be relevant for you.
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