What to do with a free consultation
Questions to make sure it’s a good fit
Most therapists these days offer a free 15 minute consultation to make sure it’s going to be a good fit between you and the therapist before you spend a lot of time and money. And since 15 minutes isn’t a lot of time, you want to make sure you know the best questions to ask to make sure you’ve found someone who’s a good fit.
Questions to ask an online therapist
What session times do you have available?
Make sure you are clear about your availability and expectations. Some therapists (like me) schedule consultations at the times when sessions are available. Other therapists only do consultations on one particular day of the week which means your session day and time would be different from the consultation day and time.
What’s your training and experience with…?
If you’ve got a particular issue that you want to be resolved, ask about the therapist’s experience and comfort with your need. This can be especially important for queer folks since you want to be able to talk honestly and openly about what’s going on for you without judgment or having to educate them.
What therapy methods do you use?
While we know that the relationship you have with your therapist is more important than the specific methods they use in session, this question gives you a window into how your therapist approaches mental health and personal growth. You’ll get a sense of whether they’re more relational or technical and if you can expect more of a talking session or a worksheet session.
What’s the plan for ongoing sessions?
Weekly sessions are the norm for therapy, associated with the best results in the shortest time. But some therapy methods are meant for people who want to meet several times a week. Other therapists have methods that work well with even less frequent sessions. Either way, you want to make sure you and your potential therapist are on the same page about expectations.
Non-question things to look out for
Beyond the consultation, you can learn a lot from their website and communication style. Here are some other ways you can tell if a therapist might be a good fit for what you need.
How they communicate with you
Make sure you’re comfortable with your therapist’s communication style. Whether they use email, phone, messaging, or something else, it’s got to work for you. And how they speak to you should be warm, professional, and appropriate. You should feel comfortable asking them questions about therapy and telling them about your needs.
Yes, I know, we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance. But if your therapist looks too much like your judgmental great aunt, you may not feel comfortable being too open in session. Some people feel more comfortable with an older therapist, others want someone their own age or younger. You want to find someone you can really vibe with, no matter what your vibe is.
Got more questions?
I hope these questions help you find the right online therapist. If you’re still feeling stuck, feel free to reach out. I am happy to help you decide if I’m a good fit for you or help direct you to the right person if it’s not me. If you’re looking for queer christian therapy in California, learn more about how I help here.