Joyce Coleman MS, LCSW
What is your educational and training background?
All of the therapists in our directory are qualified and experienced but you may like to find out where they went to school, their specialty, or how long they have been doing this work.
Do you have experience treating the kind of problem I have?
Not all therapists can treat all problems. Sometimes a therapist specializes in certain areas. If the therapist's area of expertise is not the one you are looking for, ask for a referral to a therapist who can best help you. You will need to briefly indicate the problems you are experiencing (eg. marital difficulties, stress, anxiety at work etc).
How much do you charge and what is your method of payment?
Would you be covered under my employment insurance policy or any other plan?
Some employers, typically the larger ones, have extended health benefits that cover some counseling. Read the fine print carefully. Sometimes MFTs are covered, sometimes they are not. A number of larger companies have employee assistance plans (EAP's) that do cover MFTs. Again, check a carefully with your employer's human resources or personnel department. Although the therapist may not know the answer off hand (as there are many policies and they keep changing) he/she should be able to guide you to find out the information you seek. As well, some employers or insurance companies will add a particular therapist or professional therapy designation to their list of those who are covered if employees make the request.
Where are the sessions held and what is the length of time of a session?
After you have had a brief conversation based on the above questions you should have a "feel" for this therapist. If you feel fairly positive, proceed with booking an appointment. If you don't feel comfortable for any reason, interview some one else.
Therapies are generally divided into the following approaches:Behavioral Therapy