Common Therapy Questions A Therapist Will Ask

By Joanna Smykowski|Updated June 27, 2022

Therapy is sometimes a mysterious concept that is often hard to find clear information on. A lot available therapy information is vague, and therapy's representation in the media — movies, TV shows and books — often sets up unrealistic expectations. You may not have an understanding of the common therapy questions a therapist will ask. 

Since there is still a fair amount of stigma surrounding mental health, you may feel uncomfortable asking others about their personal experience, or they may choose not to disclose anything. Additionally, therapists maintain strict confidentiality for their patients and cannot give out information if you aren't their client. We've compiled a helpful resource so you can gain more insights into the process of therapy, including how it can help improve your mental well-being.

Common Therapy Questions

therapy questions

What Is Therapy?

The actual definition of therapy is a process of receiving professional assistance with physical, mental, or emotional problems. However, there is no one-size-fits-all in the world of mental health. Couples who are experiencing relationship problems will likely seek help from a licensed marriage and family counselor, whereas someone experiencing depression will likely engage in cognitive behavioral therapy. Most approaches involve talking with a therapist one-on-one or in a group and is called "talk therapy." 

Talk therapy can include other components like meditation, mindfulness, or a behavioral component. You may need to do some research to determine what approach is best for you. There are many types of therapies. Some other common ones are: dialectical behavioral, narrative, play, and solution-focused/brief therapy. Since therapists understand that not everyone will benefit from the same form of treatment, many therapists are eclectic and pull different techniques from different theories and therapies. So, when you are looking for a therapist, it is good to know an approach that you think you might benefit from, but try to not get too rigid with what you think is best for you. You are seeking therapy for the expertise of the therapist and he or she might believe that you would benefit from a different approach.

Is Therapy Right for Me?

Rarely is therapy "wrong" for anyone. At worst, you might find that speaking with a mental health professional did not help, but it did not hurt either. You may find that a particular mental health professional is not helping you. This just means you should search for someone better suited to fit your needs. One of the most important things between a therapist and a client is not the expertise of the therapist or the approach used, but the rapport and relationship between the two people. The goal is for the therapist to create a safe space for the client to grow and explore and emote. The therapist will provide support, feedback, and suggestions. Trust is very important. Carl Rogers called this "unconditional positive regard" and he believed it was central to therapy. This is the idea that no matter what the client divulges, the therapist will be there to listen and support without judgment.

Why Should I Go To Therapy?

therapy questions

There are many reasons why people seek the help of a therapist. For people with long-term mental illnesses, therapy is a way to relieve symptoms and help the individual cope with their illness. However, it is also a useful tool for people without a diagnosable disorder. These people might have experienced a traumatizing event (like the loss of a loved one) and are struggling to cope with the experience. For other people, it may be a way to talk and process one's own emotions or life events when they feel they do not have others to speak with. While other people may utilize sessions as occasionally speaking with someone as a mental checkup or maintenance.

Working Towards Solutions Together

A therapist will not likely tell you that you don't need therapy if you are seeking out it out, but they may guide you to understand that you have the solutions inside yourself and need help bringing them out. They understand that a person's perspective of their problems is the most important factor in deciding if they need help or not. If you reach the end of your treatment episode and are no longer in need of live sessions, the therapist will address this with you and discuss termination. This is a positive thing — it means you have accomplished your therapy goals.

At times, you may be working with a therapist who does not feel like he or she is the best fit for you and that you are not benefiting from their service. If this happens, the therapist should explain why this decision has been made, let you express your feelings, and the therapist should offer you referrals for other therapists likely to be better for your needs. It may sound strange, but this is the responsible and ethical response on the part of the therapist if this is the case.

Still Have Therapy Questions?

There are many questions that only you can answer regarding your desire to speak with a mental health professional. Know that in choosing a therapist, the most important factor is that you feel comfortable opening up to this person. Therapy may take a few sessions or months of talking. Always remember that you only get out as much as you put in. You need to be honest with yourself in asking if you are ready for therapy and ready to put in the effort. This is a relationship that takes time to build and often the first session is largely the therapist assessing your needs, so it often takes a few sessions to form a solid opinion of your therapist. This is important — if you are not satisfied or are looking for something different, speak up. Tell your therapist and give her a chance to meet your needs. It is exhausting and time-consuming to meet with the therapist after therapist. Try to set yourself and your therapist up for success by being honest and upfront about your needs and feelings.

Conclusion

For further questions about counseling, there are many online resources to help. There is the opportunity to speak directly with a licensed therapist online. If you feel that searching for the best therapist is difficult to do in person, receiving online counseling may be beneficial for you.

Working With BetterHelp's Mental Health Professionals

It's easy to start therapy

You can get started today and get all the questions for therapy you need to be answered from an online therapy website or through a therapist online. BetterHelp is a great platform for this. You can get started anywhere you have an internet connection and all you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Commonly Asked Questions On This Topic Found Below:

What are some therapeutic questions?
What are some good questions to ask your therapist?
What questions do therapists ask in the first session?
What is a leading question in therapy?
What is an open ended question in counseling?
What is an open question in counselling?

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