ON BECOMING A CLIENT
It’s kind of scary to pick up the phone and call a perfect, or not so perfect, stranger and ask questions about coming to see her/him, especially when you’re in pain. You ask questions about fees, appointment times, maybe about the therapeutic or theoretical approach–and you seldom ask questions about the therapist herself/himself. You’re usually too stressed to even think of any questions.
Some of the questions I suggest that you ask yourself are:
1. Do I feel a rapport with this person?
2. Do I trust this person?
3. Do I feel safe with this person so that I am willing to share myself and be vulnerable?
4. What do I need/want from this person so that I can heal myself?
In addition to the normal administrative questions, I suggest that you also ask:
1. How long have you been in practice?
2. What type of client do you do your best work with?
3. How do you take care of yourself?
4. Are you in therapy and/or have you ever been in therapy?
You may be very uncomfortable asking these questions, and the therapist may not like them nor be willing to answer them. It’s important for you to remember that for your therapy to be successful, you will have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. You need to be willing to express what you’re thinking and feeling, including not liking your therapist at times. Can you do that with this person?
I’d like to hear how it is or would be for you to ask these questions. Do you have any other questions you might think of asking? I look forward to hearing from you.