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  • Toronto Psychotherapy Space

8 things to ask your therapist on your first visit



Your first session with a new therapist is much like a job interview, except this time

you're on the right side of the desk. You should be asking questions of them as much as

they are of you. It’s all about finding a good fit. Therapy is a journey you make together.

So, ensuring you “travel” well, as a team, is very important. While the process may

seem uncomfortable, it’s important to remember therapy is for YOU, so you want to

ensure your therapist can help you in the best way possible.


Not sure what questions you should ask? Here are a few to get you started.


1. How much do you charge per session?


It’s best to get talk of fees out of the way upfront. Make sure you check off all the

boxes. Do they provide direct billing? Are there any cancellation fees? Are

services covered by OHIP or under personal health plans received through your

workplace? While not the reason for your visit, these questions need to be

answered.


2. How long have you been a therapist?


It’s ok to ask a therapist about their qualifications. What degrees do they have?

Are they currently licensed and, perhaps most importantly, how much experience

they have working with issues like yours? Understanding how many years of

experience your therapist has, will help you gauge how much knowledge they

have in addressing your needs.


3. What kinds of therapy do you offer?


Therapy comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s up to you and your therapist to find

the combination that works best for you. So, asking about their typical therapy

approach is relevant. Every therapist starts out with general training in all aspects

of treatment. Through years of practice, they find interventions and modalities in

which they excel to become specialists. Asking what your therapist specializes in

can help determine if they are a good fit for you.


4. What will my treatment plan look like?


It’s important to understand what your proposed treatment plan will look like. If

you feel it doesn’t make sense or you’re uncomfortable with the process, it won’t

be successful. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment available and you

may have to try a few different approaches to find what really works for you.


5. How long is each session and will it be online or in person?


Whether you prefer virtual or in person sessions can be a deciding factor when

choosing the right therapist. At TPS Therapy, all our sessions are 50-minutes in

length and are offered either in person at our Danforth office location or online via

video call.


6. Do you set goals for every client? How do you track them?


Therapy without specific goals can feel like it’s going nowhere. Ask your therapist

if goals are made for each client to measure the progression of treatment and

how these goals are decided upon. Bear in mind that goals and successes in

psychotherapy can also change over time, as therapy itself is a very dynamic

process.


7. Will you provide me with a diagnosis?


It is often assumed by those seeking therapy that a psychological diagnosis is

part of a normal therapy session. However, therapists have a wide range of

views and practices pertaining to diagnosis. If your therapist does not bring up

diagnosis in the first session and it’s something you wish to discuss, ask them for

options.


8. Will there be additional tasks assigned outside of therapy?


Therapy is more than just showing up for sessions. There’s real work to be done

outside of each session to see lasting change and results. Ask your therapist if

there will be assigned “homework” or additional tasks outside of therapy. Often,

it’s during these tasks that breakthroughs will be made.


Getting the help and support that you need for the problems you are facing is important.

Hopefully these 8 questions will boost your confidence and help you find a therapist with

whom you really connect. Write them out or save them to your phone for quick and easy

access at every interview. Your mental health matters!


At TPS Therapy we take our time to match each client with the right therapist. We offer

free 20-minute psychotherapy consultations where you can ask your therapist questions

and share your needs and goals. To be matched with the right therapist and to book a

free consultation please fill out our contact form or email info@tpstherapy.ca.

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