12 Questions to Ask a Therapist Before Your First Meeting

Knowing if your therapist is a good fit for you can be challenging before your first appointment. These questions can help you feel more empowered going into that meeting.

May. 13, 2024 3   min read

Happy young black military man in camouflage uniform sitting on couch, listening to his psychologist and smiling, enjoying results of psychotherapy

Making the decision to see a therapist is not one that is made lightly. When you make your first appointment, you want to make sure that your relationship with your therapist is a good fit so you can find what you are looking for in the experience.

Part of that experience is knowing how to ask the right questions of a therapist. Those responses will help you to feel more comfortable and place your trust in them.

For suggestions on how to approach that first conversation with a new therapist, we asked Anna LaDelfa, LMHC, a senior primary therapist with Rochester Regional Health’s Home-Based Crisis Intervention program, for her advice.

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What to ask a therapist when you meet them

  • What’s your approach to therapy and what types of therapy have you been trained in?
  • How long have you been practicing therapy?
  • What type of therapy do you practice and what do you specialize in? (if you are in need of a specific type of therapy or need help with a specific concern)
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • How much do you charge per hour?
  • Do you accept insurance and what kind?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What is your availability for crisis calls or on weekends?
  • How long is a typical session?
  • How frequently should we meet?
  • How should we set treatment goals?
  • How will we measure progress?

When it comes to therapists and a potential patient, LaDelfa encourages everyone to be open about their willingness and readiness to make changes in their life. As long as there is a sense of trust that goes both ways, there can be real progress made.

“Therapists want patients to be honest and tell them what’s working and what’s not working,” LaDelfa said. “It is not a therapist’s place to judge patients. It's our job to help them through a struggle, even if that struggle is with me.”

NEXT STEPS Take The First Step for Your Mental Health

Whether you want to talk with someone about your thoughts or if you want to explore possible treatment, providers with Rochester Regional Health are ready to listen and get you what you need.

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