Your First Counseling Appointment: Questions to Ask
If you decide to see a mental health professional on or off-campus, there are questions you should ask on the phone or during your first visit.
- Are there fees involved?
- What kinds of professionals and programs are available?
- What is the average waiting time for getting an appointment?
- Is group therapy offered?
- Are there a maximum number of sessions allowed per year?
- What types of mental health specialists are on staff? Is there an on-staff psychiatrist?
- Is there a pharmacy on-site?
- Does the counseling center provide off-campus referrals?
- Does the counseling center have satellite offices, such as dorm-based counseling?
- Is there a counselor on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week? If not, what types of after-hours emergency services are available?
If you decide to seek help off-campus, you should ask mental health professionals about their approach to working with patients, their philosophy, and whether or not they have a specialty or concentration. Does the therapist have experience helping people with similar problems to yours? It’s also important that you feel comfortable with the counselor or doctor.
Before your visit, be sure to find out what your family’s insurance policy covers and doesn’t cover, as well as all applicable fees, limits of sessions, and in-network versus out-of-network provider policies.
Working out the logistics of a visit can be intimidating, but don’t let that be the reason you keep yourself from getting help. If you think it will help, ask a close friend or family member help you go through the details of making your first appointment.
- Finding Help Off Campus
- Finding Help On Campus
- Getting Help
- How to Help a Friend
- Preventing Suicide
- The Basics: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- The Basics: Bipolar Disorder
- The Basics: Alcohol and Drug Dependence and Abuse
- The Basics: Anxiety Disorders
- The Basics: Depression
- The Basics: Eating Disorders
- The Basics: Schizophrenia
- The Basics: Self-Injury (Cutting)
- The Negative Effects of Stress
- Transferring Treatment to College
- Types of Mental Health Professionals
- What Every Student Needs to Know
- Who Will Struggle with Mental Illness?
- Your First Counseling Appointment: Questions to Ask