5 questions to ask a therapist

Having a consultation with a psychiatrist can ensure you choose a provider with whom you feel comfortable.

Having a consultation with a psychiatrist can ensure you choose a provider with whom you feel comfortable.

Whether it’s marital problems or depression, you’ve made up your mind to get therapy. The next step is deciding who to see, says Dr. Faith Tanney, a highly rated psychologist in Washington, D.C. “You want someone who is respectful, who is creative [in finding ways to help], and who is open to your complaints,” Tanney says. “It’s a partnership.”

Before making your final decision, set up an initial consultation and ask the therapist these questions:

1. What kind of experience do you have in dealing with the problems I face?

2. What is your approach to therapy?

3. Do you prescribe medication, or will you refer me to someone who does if necessary?

4. Though it can often be difficult to predict, how long might treatment take?

5. What’s my responsibility or role in therapy?

For the most up-to-date information, visit angieslist.com and check out reviews from health consumers on counseling, psychiatry and psychology.


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