Their answers should give you a better idea if they’re the right fit for you.


If you’re unsure about seeing a therapist or feel anxious about talking to one, it’s completely normal. Therapists understand this because many of us have been in your shoes before. We’ve experienced being the person seeking help, just like you. So, it’s okay to feel nervous when you first meet a therapist. They know how it feels because they’ve been there themselves!

Before you meet with them, you may have thoughts like, “What will they be like,” or “Will it be a good fit,” or you might even question, “Is therapy right for me?” These are all valid things to consider, but as you prepare for your session, try to come up with questions to ask your therapist. But are you supposed to ask your therapist questions?

Are You Supposed To Ask Your Therapist Questions?

Therapy is not just about talking; it’s also a place where you can ask your therapist questions about your situation, the plan for treatment, and any diagnoses. We encourage you to ask questions so you fully understand what’s happening and can decide if you want to participate in the therapy. This way, you’ll have all the information you need to make a smart, informed choice about your own well-being.

In the first session, I always ask clients if there’s anything they’d like to know about me, my office, the different ways we can approach their treatment, or anything else related to their mental health care. Some people have a clear idea of what they want to focus on, while others might need a little more help figuring it out. That’s what I’m here for – to guide and support you.

Asking questions is a part of developing the therapeutic relationship with your provider, which some experts say influences how successful therapy services are—and I agree. The professional relationship is significant because it determines your trust in your therapist’s ability to provide quality care. Plus, since you’re spilling out all your deepest and darkest secrets to them, you need to know they’re a safe person to do so with.

5 Questions Your Therapist Wants You To Ask

1. “What is therapy?”

Asking about the basics of therapy is a question to ask during a consultation with your therapist or at your first appointment. As I mentioned, understanding this is part of giving informed consent to participate in mental health treatment. Other questions you might ask related to this are:

  • What’s a good definition of therapy?
  • What happens during a typical appointment?
  • Are the stereotypes true?

Even though some people may think therapy is a negative thing, it’s actually really helpful for everyone, no matter what you’re going through. After your first session, you should feel more sure of yourself and have a good grasp of how therapy works. It’s all about making progress and feeling better about yourself.

2. “Can you rephrase that?”

If your therapist is using complicated words or phrases that you don’t understand, that’s completely normal! It’s okay to interrupt and ask them to explain. But if you find yourself needing to do this every time, it might be worth talking to your therapist about their approach. While it’s important to learn new things in therapy, it’s also crucial that you don’t leave each session feeling confused. It’s about finding a balance that works best for you.

I often use stories and comparisons to explain ideas to my clients. Sometimes, a story might be clear to me, but not to my client. So, I take the time to explain what I mean, instead of moving on to a different example. This helps my clients understand better, and it helps me learn how they learn best.

3. “Have you been in therapy before?”

You might have heard that you’re not supposed to ask your therapist personal questions. The answer to this isn’t just a simple yes or no. Therapists have rules they need to follow, kind of like a set of guidelines. These rules tell us what’s right and wrong to do or talk about in a session. It’s important to keep a line between our personal lives and our work, but we want you to know we’re not just robots following rules. We’re human and we care about you, not just about paperwork and appointments.

If you want to ask your therapist a simple personal question, like whether they’ve been in therapy themselves, that’s perfectly fine. In fact, it can be really reassuring to know that your therapist has experience with the kind of help they provide. It helps build a stronger connection and shows they understand what you’re going through.

You’re allowed to ask, but your therapist might not always give a direct answer. It depends on whether they think it’s helpful for your therapy. They want to make sure the relationship you have with them is the most beneficial for your well-being.

4. “Can I schedule another appointment?”

Sometimes, life happens in between sessions. When stress arises and you need more support, don’t hesitate to contact your therapist and ask for an additional appointment. We want to know that sessions are helping, which is one way we can measure the effectiveness of our interventions. Every therapist has different policies and availability, but this should be something you discuss at your first appointment. Plus, knowing how to schedule your regular sessions or additional appointments ensures you maintain a consistent therapeutic routine, something that’s vital to help you progress in therapy.

5. “What do I do if I feel like it isn’t a good fit?”

Out of all the questions your therapist wants you to ask, this one is the most important. If you ever feel that the connection between you and your therapist isn’t working, it’s necessary to address it.

However, you should always, always, always communicate. Ghosting isn’t cool for anyone.

Ignoring or suddenly cutting off communication with someone is not a kind or respectful behavior. It can hurt and upset people. It’s better to communicate openly and honestly.

Simply sharing how you feel helps you leave on good terms, which is what we always strive for. I tell clients that I would rather have a brief, awkward moment if it means that they’ll feel satisfied and comfortable with whatever their concerns are.

It’s our job to listen, so know that your therapist wants you to be open and honest with them. When you are, we can help you address the issue and explore solutions like modifying your treatment plan, referring you to a different therapist, or clearing up a miscommunication. 


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