The BAATO network seeks to reflect the many who are committed, passionate and actively engaged in addressing, the psychological needs of Black and Asian people in Britain.

   

Choosing a therapist


You may find it helpful asking some of the following questions of your prospective therapist. The therapist may not always answer the question, but you will get a sense of how they respond to you, even if you don't get a direct answer. 

Training 
What has been your training? 
What qualifications have you been awarded? 

Experience 
How long have you been practicing counselling or psychotherapy? 
Where else have you worked besides your present position? 
What jobs or careers have you had besides being a therapist? 
What non-professional experiences have you had to qualify you for the work you are now doing? 

Credentials 
Are you a member of any professional organisations? Which ones? 
Are you Accredited or Registered by any professional therapy associations? 
Have any complaints been filed against you with any professional ethics organisation? 

Professional Orientation 
How do you describe your professional orientation to therapy? 
Which of the major schools of psychotherapy are the most attractive to you? 

Competence 
Have you treated other people with problems similar to mine?
How do you determine how often we should meet? 
Can you prescribe psychoactive medications if I need them? If not, do you work with a physician or a psychiatrist who can evaluate me and prescribed medication? 
Are you willing to consult with other mental health or medical professionals with whom I have worked? 
Do you consult with other professionals regarding individuals on your caseload? 
How do you safeguard my right to confidentiality in those situations? 
Are you willing or able to see my family members or life partner if that should seem necessary? If so, can or should I be present? 
Will you ever meet with them without my being present? 
Have you ever been sued for malpractice? 
What was the outcome of that lawsuit? 

Business practices 
What is your fee? 
Is there a sliding scale? If there is a sliding scale, how does it work? 
Are you able to accept medical insurance? 
How do you handle the paperwork? 
Do you, or do I, have to fill out the paperwork? 
What is your telephone availability? 
Do you encourage or discourage telephone contact between meetings? 

Personal 
What is your personal experience as a client in psychotherapy? 
How do you feel it benefited you? 

Comfort and Chemistry (questions to ask yourself after the initial meeting) 
Did you feel understood? 
Did the therapist understand your reason for being there? 
Did you feel liked by the therapist? 
Did you like the therapist? 
Did you like his or her values? 
Did you agree with them? 
Did you have an initial feeling of trust in the therapist? 
Did the therapist appear to be sensitive to your feelings? 
Did you feel respected by the therapist? 
Did you feel he or she was treating you as an equal? 
Did you feel comfortable talking to this therapist? 
Were you able to say what you wanted to say? 
Were you able to be yourself? 
Did you feel a need to hide anything? 
Were you honest? 
Did the therapist convey a feeling of personal warmth? 
Did the therapist seem to have a sense of humour? 
Was he or she overly serious? 
Did you get a feeling this person was wise? Knowledgeable? 
Was he or she able to go past theories and understand the nature of the world?
Did he or she convey an interest in you and your reasons for being in his or her office? 
Did the therapist make eye contact with you? Was that comfortable for you? 
Did you get any feedback from the therapist? Was it helpful? Insightful? 
Did you come away with any greater understanding of yourself than you had before the first meeting? 
Did you disagree with the therapist at any point? How did that go? Was the therapist defensive and go to sleep?
Could he or she disagree with you in a comfortable manner? 
Do you look forward to talking with the therapist again? 

 

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