Getting Started with Treatment

A.) Once you have contacted your insurance company and scheduled your first session with a behavioral health provider, here are some questions you may consider asking at your first session. Click here for a printable version of the questions below, to take with you.

What type of therapy will we be doing?

Some common types of therapy with strong research support for their effectiveness include psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, interpersonal, and solution-focused.

How do you understand my problem and how do you expect therapy to help?

This includes your diagnosis (which is required for reimbursement from your insurance company), but also how your behavioral health provider thinks your problems developed and what the work of psychotherapy will be like with them. 

How long do you expect I may be in therapy?

This should be discussed at the initial session, particularly if your insurance company has a limit to the number of sessions. Length of treatment will vary by both the condition you’re being treated for and the approach of the therapist. You and your provider should agree to the estimated length of therapy.

How are we going to know we are on the right track?

This may include a combination of goals you set for yourself and brief questionnaires your behavioral health provider may use to track your progress. 

B.) You should feel comfortable talking to your behavioral health provider. Research is clear that there has to be a good fit between you and your provider for treatment to be effective. Here are some questions to reflect on after your first session:

  1. Did I feel listened to? Were my health needs addressed?

  2. Did the provider speak in a way that made me feel comfortable?

  3. Did the provider clearly explain my treatment options and their benefits and risks? Did I feel that I shared in the decision regarding a treatment plan?

  4. Was the behavioral health provider respectful of my culture, opinions, values, and beliefs? Is this a place I’d feel comfortable going back to?

  5. If I asked for assistance, was it provided?

  6. Do I have a follow-up plan?

  7. Can I contact my provider or staff with questions?

C.) If you answered “Yes” to most of these questions, you may have found the right provider for you.

D.) If you answered “No” to any or most of these questions, you should talk to your therapist and share your concerns. You are also always welcome to look for another provider. It is important to find someone you can work with and trust! It is important that the relationship be collaborative: see this link for tips on ways to help your therapist:

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