3 questions to ask your therapist in your first session

by Alexa Diego | July 2020

I can speak from personal experience just how challenging it is to find the right therapist because I never knew what I was searching for. Having a good connection with your therapist is indeed important, but you should be offered a little more than that. 

Searching for the right therapist can very much feel like a lot of work, but it is worth the time to find “the one” whom you can trust and work on your goals with. The therapist-client relationship requires a great deal of time to develop an alliance and maintain it. Because of this dynamic, it would be helpful for you to first have an idea of whether your therapist is a good match for you. 

In this short guide, you will hopefully find the right questions to ask your therapist in the initial session and how to identify the right therapist for you. 

Necessary questions to ask a potential therapist:

  1. Could you describe your philosophy and therapeutic approach? This question can go a long way for you to understand the therapist’s expectations for the therapeutic relationship between you two, what they may expect from you as their client, and how they plan to work with you as their client.
  2. Do you have experience working with client issues similar to mine? This question can give you insight into whether your therapist would be able to offer support with your unique set of goals. The key here is that you want to be reassured by the potential therapist that they are capable of working with you.
  3. How often are you available? Clients may often overlook this one because it does not seem initially important; however, it very much is considering that certain client issues may take more time than others to work through in therapy. Be sure to ask this question if you tend to run on a busy schedule, as it makes a difference to develop a relationship with a therapist whose schedule fits into yours.

You may also want to pay attention to these following signs to evaluate the therapist-client dynamic:

  • Their energy feels genuine, warm, and inviting.
  • They appear focused and committed to guiding you.
  • You feel better and well supported once the session ends.
  • They are open minded. 
  • You do not feel judged. 
  • They challenge you in a sensitive manner.