Preparing for your Appointment

Preparing for your appointment

In the beginning of treatment, the therapist will gather basic information in order to understand the client’s issues and concerns. It is therefore helpful to take steps to prepare for your first appointment.

If it sometimes helpful to take a family member or friend along with you for your first appointment. Someone who has known you for a long time, with your permission may be able to share important information with your therapist.

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you or people close to you have noticed, and for how long.
  • Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors.
  • Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions.
  • Any medications, vitamins, herbal products or other supplements you take, and their dosages.
Also, prepare some questions to ask your therapist in order to understand the treatment that you will receive. Here are some examples:

  • What type of mental health disorder might I have?
  • Why can’t I get over a mental health disorder on my own?
  • How do you treat my type of mental health disorder?
  • Will therapy help?
  • Are there medications that might help?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Do you have printed material?

Don’t hesitate to ask questions anytime you don’t understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

During your appointment, your therapist is likely to ask you several questions about your mood, thoughts and behavior, such as:

  • When did you first notice symptoms?
  • How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?
  • What treatment, if any, have you had for mental health disorder?
  • What have you tried on your own to feel better or control your symptoms?
  • What things make you feel worse?
  • Have family members or friends commented on your mood or behavior?
  • Do you have blood relatives with a mental health disorder?
  • What do you hope to gain from treatment?
  • What medications or over-the-counter herbs and supplements do you take?
  • Do you drink alcohol or use drugs?

How much does therapy cost?

  • The fee for a therapist that does not accept insurance can vary greatly. Some therapists will offer a sliding scale for clients that cannot afford the full fee.
  • Some therapists accept medical insurance which can greatly reduce the cost of treatment.
  • Some community agencies provide services at no or low cost.
*DISCLAIMER – The preceding articles are provided for informational purposes only. These resources are not in substitute of the services of mental health care professional.