What To Ask Your Therapist

What To Ask Your Therapist

Posted By
on09 Apr 2015

It is very important that you feel comfortable wit the therapist you see.  You have every right to ask questions to make sure that who you choose  will be a good fit for you and that they have the experience to treat the issue you want to work on.

Some good questions to ask are:

  • What is your training or background in treating my problem (anxiety, depression, behavior problems in my child, insomnia etc.)?
  • How much of your current practice involves treating my problem?
  • Do you feel you have been effective in treating my type of problem?
  • What is your training in cognitive-behavioral therapy?  You want your therapist to be able to talk about workshops they have taken, experienced clinicians they have consulted with, and organizations they belong to or certificates they hold in CBT.
  • Ask if they are willing to leave their office if needed to do behavioral therapy.

There are specific questions you want to ask related to types of disorders.

For OCD you would want to ask:

  • What do you use to treat OCD?  You want them to be experienced and knowledgeable about Exposure Response Prevention.
  • What is your attitude towards medication for OCD?

For anxiety disorders you want to ask:

  • What techniques do you use for anxiety disorders (panic disorder, agoraphobia, PTSD etc.)?  You want your therapist to talk about using exposure techniques, behavioral experiments and working with distorted thinking.

For depression you want to ask:

  • What type of CBT interventions are helpful with depression? You want your therapist to talk about using thought records to identify faulty thinking, behavioral activation or pleasant activity scheduling, and behavioral experiments.

For insomnia you want to ask:

  • What is effective treatment for insomnia?  You want your therapist to talk about things like sleep scheduling, sleep efficiency, strengthening the sleep/wake cycle, relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene.

Remember, good therapy involves collaboration between you and a therapist who is knowledgeable about  your specific problem.