5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Free Consultation
It’s totally normal to feel nervous before your free consultation! Finding a good therapist can be challenging, intimidating, and stressful. We hope to make it an empowering and comforting experience. At Blossom, you can book a free consultation directly on our website. This initial meeting usually lasts up to 30 minutes and gives you an opportunity to see which therapist is the best fit for you.
Here’s a guide about our free consults, what you can expect, and some suggestions on what to ask us (or any other therapist!).
What is a consult?
A consultation is a short meeting with a therapist to determine if you are a good fit for one another. Think of this as a test drive to see what it would be like to work with this therapist. These consultations are very informal, and no therapy/treatment happens during this meeting – it’s a chance for us to get to know each other. One of the most important aspects of the consult – and what we highly encourage – is the opportunity to ask the therapist any questions you may have! You are interviewing the therapist to see if they are a good fit for you, and any questions you may have are welcome.
Why have a free consult?
Aside from all the reasons I’ve mentioned so far, here are five big reasons to take advantage of your free consult.
- Every therapist specializes in something different. Like any other healthcare provider, while therapists gain clinical experience, they niche down their focus areas. This means every therapist you find will have one to three very specific topics s/he is most educated in and has the most experience working with. Some therapists do a great job conveying this on their marketing, and the free consult is an opportunity see what the therapist you’re meeting with is best-versed in.
- Meet and choose. Meet with as many therapists as you want to see how you feel. Our relationship with you is the most important part of our work together, so meeting with a few people to figure out how you feel is perfectly okay and highly encouraged.
- Ask questions. I’ll give you a list of suggestions below! But the free consult really serves as your interview before booking an appointment. Find out anything you want to know so that when you do have your first appointment, we can spend time focusing on you.
- Learn if we are a good fit. You may love a therapist’s bio, their website, their Instagram, etc, but you won’t fully know the vibes you get from them until you speak to them for the first time. Also, be sure that your schedule aligns with this therapist’s availability – if your schedules don’t match so you’re able to do your best work, it’s not a good fit.
- No obligation, paperwork or financial investment. We don’t expect anything from you during the free consult, except that you’ll be interviewing us! There is no pressure to schedule, give us any personal information, etc.
Questions we’ll ask you
Although the free consult is mostly focused on you interviewing us, we’ll also ask you questions. Just like you want to make sure we are a good fit for you, we want to make sure you are a good fit for our expertise and specialties. If we aren’t well-versed in what you need, it’s our ethical duty to refer you to another professional. So, even if you meet with us for a free consult and aren’t able to schedule with us for any reason, we can assist you in finding the best match. We’re here to help and want to see you make progress in any way you can!
Here’s some basics we’ll ask you the first time we meet or talk:
- What brings you in?
- Have you been to therapy before?
- What are you looking for in a therapist?
- What’s worked for you in the past, and what has not?
- What do you want to get out of therapy?
Questions to ask the therapist
- Can you tell me a little about your practice?
- What is your general philosophy/approach to helping?
- What is your experience working with clients with my background, culture, and/or experiences?
- Do you have experience working with clients who have similar concerns to me?
- Which therapy approach do you use, and how can it help me achieve my goals?
- How active are you during a session? Should I expect you to lead?
- How do you decide therapeutic goals and how do you decide when they are completed?
- What is a typical session like?
- What kind of homework do you give clients?
- How do I prepare for my first session?
- How will I know I’m making progress?
- What are your fees?
- How often and for how long would you anticipate seeing me?
- Do you partner with other professionals like chiropractors, nutritionists, or psychiatrists?
- What is your availability in between sessions?
- What days and times are you available for sessions?
Questions to ask yourself
Throughout your session, keep track of your gut instincts and reactions. Follow them! Afterwards, ask yourself these questions to see how you feel and what you think about the therapists you’ve met with.
- Do I feel safe and comfortable with the therapist’s presence?
- Do I feel safe and comfortable in their office space?
- Would I feel comfortable sharing more with this therapist? Do I feel like our bond would grow?
- Do I feel respected and heard?
- Do I think this therapist can really help me?
- Does this therapist use language that reflects an understanding of my background, culture, and experiences?
- Is the therapist available at the days and times I need to meet?
- Are they specialized in what I am looking for?
- Can I afford this therapist’s fees?
- Do I like their energy/vibe?
When your consult ends
You won’t be pressured to book at the time, but experience tells me booking now sets you up for success and prevents you from being in the same spot you’re in today six months from now. Chances are if you walk out without booking an appointment, it’s not going to happen. If you think and feel that this therapist is someone you can work with, book before you leave!
If you don’t want to move forward, be honest with yourself and the therapist. We appreciate your being direct! We respect your decision, and like I mentioned earlier, we want you to get the help you need so you can make the progress you want, and we understand it’s not always with us.