COUNSELING IN PLANO: QUESTIONS TO ASK
If you’re looking for counseling in Plano, Texas to help with mental health issues, you’re wise to consider what questions to ask before you make that first appointment. I wrote a blog post about this several years ago, but the world has changed since then. Plano is more crowded than ever, anxiety disorders and eating disorders are on the rise, and there are more therapists in private practice. This makes it more important than ever to ask the right questions from the beginning.
QUESTIONS TO ASK A PLANO COUNSELOR BEFORE YOU MEET
As an anxiety and eating disorder therapist in Plano, I want to help you find the best therapist to fit your needs. A good counselor will schedule a phone consultation before you schedule an appointment, so be prepared to ask questions. Here are some suggestions.
CAN COUNSELING WITH A PLANO THERAPIST HELP WITH MY PROBLEM?
You want someone who knows how to work with the specific issues you are facing. You wouldn’t go to a dermatologist to help with your foot problems. Therapy training and specialties can be the same. Ask what type of clients the counselor works with the most. Ask what training and experience they have in working with your issue. They might have certifications beyond their college education that indicate they are passionate about working with your problem. You can also learn about this by looking at their website and/or social media. Do they write about the issues you want to work on?
For example, as a therapist in Plano, I have specialty training in treating eating disorders, and I hold a certification to demonstrate this (Certified Eating Disorders Specialist through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals). I also have advanced training in certain therapy modalities that are evidence-based to treat my specialties, such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Training), and IFS (Internal Family Systems).
WHERE IS YOUR OFFICE? DO YOU OFFER VIRTUAL COUNSELING APPOINTMENTS?
Post-Covid, many more therapists offer telehealth counseling, also known as virtual or video sessions. Although this was weird at first, everyone has settled into it pretty well. Many therapists ONLY offer video sessions now, and have closed their physical offices. Consider what works best for improving your problems, and what is most convenient.
As an anxiety counselor and eating disorder therapist in Plano, I still have a physical office where I see clients in person, as some clients want and need this option. In-person sessions allow us to address social anxiety and body image distress through exposure work (tolerating getting out of your comfort zone). However, for convenience, many people prefer virtual sessions. I let clients choose what works best for them, given their goals and schedule.
WHAT IS THE COST? CAN I USE MY INSURANCE FOR COUNSELING IN PLANO?
Get a sense of your budget for therapy before you start making calls. In addition, make sure you understand your insurance plan. Check to see if you have mental health benefits. Check to see if you have out-of-network benefits, and how much the deductible is. I always recommend you call the insurance company and ask about this specifically. Some counselors are “in-network providers” with certain insurance plans, and they work directly with insurance companies to arrange payments. Many other therapists work as “out-of-network providers", as they do not contract with any insurance plans. Instead, they take full payment upfront, and you seek reimbursement directly from the insurance company if you choose. As a courtesy to my clients, I will talk to your insurance company and help you figure this out.
Keep in mind it is more likely that out-of-network therapists have specialties that involve more years of experience and advanced training. (These trainings can be very expensive and time-intensive!) Also, keep in mind that YOUR insurance plan will determine how much you pay out of pocket for both in-network and out-of-network therapists. Very often, the amount you pay for an in-network therapist is comparable to an out-of-network therapist.
HOW OFTEN WILL WE MEET FOR COUNSELING?
Every therapist handles this differently. Generally, clients begin with weekly sessions and may decrease to every other week or monthly as progress is made. Some therapists will allow you to begin biweekly, and some ONLY offer weekly appointments for the entire time they work with clients. This, of course, determines how much you will pay for therapy, so if budget is a concern you’ll need to know.
WHAT IS YOUR AVAILABILITY?
Know ahead of time what day and times you are able to meet with a therapist. Then find out their availability to see if your schedules match. With many people working from home these days, it’s easier than ever to find a therapist in Plano whose availability matches yours. If you need evening or weekend appointments, be sure to ask about availability for that upfront.
HOW DO YOU HELP? WHAT IS COUNSELING LIKE?
Some people want to know what therapy will be like. Some have had therapy before, and know what works best for them. You might ask what therapy techniques or approaches your Plano therapist uses. You might wonder if there will be homework assignments between sessions.
Most importantly, you want to find a therapist that you connect with! After communicating with them a bit, decide if they seem like someone you could see yourself opening up to. Ultimately, good rapport is really the most important factor of all.
A FREE CONSULTATION FOR COUNSELING IN PLANO, TEXAS
I hope this information helps you find a therapist in Plano. If you are still unsure, feel free to contact me at (469) 850-2420 or email@example.com for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to listen and help direct you to the right person. I am well-connected with many great therapists in the Plano area. If you’re looking for help with eating disorders (binge eating or anorexia and bulimia) or anxiety, you can read more about how I can help on my website.