Choosing a Therapist
Your choice of a therapist is an important decision. Remember that you are going to want to talk about personal issues and you need to feel that you will be able to do this with the therapist you choose. It is not always easy to tell at first contact so it is important that you approach this choosing with care and patience.
Initial contact: When you make your first phone call it is quite possible that you will get an answering machine. This is likely to be because the therapist is working and can't come to the phone. Leave a message giving your name and phone number together with anything else you want to say and the therapist will call you back.
Most therapists are happy to talk briefly on the phone when you first make contact. If you then want to take it further, they will probably suggest that you both meet for an initial "no obligation" session. Some therapists do not charge for this first session and others do. Generally those that do charge for the first session are very willing to spend a bit of time on the phone if you want so that you are clear enough to want to make the initial financial investment.
It can be useful to contact a few therapists by phone initially to check if they have space, and see how you feel with them at the initial contact stage.
The First Meeting
The initial session is very important for both you and the therapist. It is intended as an opportunity for you both to find out a bit about each other and to get a sense of whether you would be able to work together. It is like a mutual interview. The therapist will probably want to know some details about you and the reasons you want to go into therapy and will give you ample opportunity to find out from them what you need to know. They will be happy to advise you about their experience, professional support, and generally about how they work.
You might also want to notice the environment and check if you feel comfortable there.
The therapist will also discuss with you their fees, appointment cancellation requirements and any other administrative details.