9 Common Questions to Ask When Choosing a Therapist
Hiring psychiatrists is a personal and private choice that one may not want to discuss with family or friends. However, even with so many professionals, finding one that the individual feels comfortable speaking to is essential. One way to do this is to interview a list of psychiatrists and ask them questions about their practice. So, here are nine questions that could help you pick a professional to help deal with mental health.
Do they fall under the insurance network?
One of the most important questions to ask the professional is whether they fall under the desired insurance network. Knowing if the psychiatrist accepts the insurance may help bring peace of mind when calculating finances. The individual could also check their insurance provider’s website for the network of psychiatrists that accept the individual insurance plan. Some providers may also allow users to filter options for healthcare professionals, such as by language, gender, and location.
Where can users find patient reviews?
Remember that all questions are important when hiring a professional, such as a psychiatrist. For example, asking about where to find their patient reviews could significantly help one select a professional that they are comfortable with. The individual could usually find these reviews on third-party websites or through search engines. The reviews will help an individual assess whether past patients were satisfied with the care. Reading the feedback from earlier clients could also help learn about the environment of the provider’s office or place of practice.
Are credentials available?
A psychiatrist must possess board certification to practice in their field. The credential helps identify if the professional has the necessary skills, training, and experience to offer healthcare in psychiatry. Patients who require an expert for children should look for one certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. Aging parents should look for professionals who specialize in geriatric psychiatry. The credentials may also contain other helpful information such as the healthcare expert’s training hospital, school, and disciplinary history. Sometimes an insurance website can also provide these details.
Do they specialize in particular patient types?
Psychiatry is a branch of healthcare that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Therefore, a psychiatrist may focus their studies on specific areas to ensure they offer quality service to patients. For example, asking them about their specialization could help a user determine if the professional looks into adult, geriatric, and adolescent psychiatry. The healthcare expert may have also trained in treating depression, ADD/ADHD, insomnia, anxiety disorders, and Bipolar disorder. By getting a better understanding of their specialties, one could narrow down their list of potential providers and select one that better understands their condition.
Is telehealth available?
With people working from home or too busy to visit the professional’s practice, it is important to know if the psychiatrist could conduct virtual sessions. This could be done over a phone call, messages, or video conference. If the patient cannot travel to the healthcare provider’s office, a telehealth appointment could help serve as a convenient way to access mental healthcare. In addition, various apps give users access to various online therapy options.
How much will therapy cost?
One of the most important questions to ask a potential provider is the fees associated with the therapy. The average cost of therapy ranges from $65 per hour to over $250. Some people could also expect to pay $100 to $200 per session. Multiple factors may affect the price of mental health care, including the therapist’s level of training, location, reputation, and insurance coverage. The length of each therapy session and specialization may also determine their fees. Finally, one should ensure that they pick a therapist that could match their budget and healthcare needs.
What are the years of experience in the field?
When an individual is affected by mental health issues, speaking to an experienced psychiatrist might be crucial. Therefore, one must ask their potential therapist about their years of experience in the field. For example, the patient could ask if the expert has treated other patients with a similar condition. The individual should also enquire about their experience with specific procedures, such as electroconvulsive therapy, biofeedback, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Asking about the complication rates, if any, may also help determine if an expert is the right person for the job.
Where is the practice located?
One of the most overlooked factors when choosing a healthcare expert is the location of the practice. While an individual may find the ideal expert to deal with their condition, they might be far away, making it difficult to get there. One could also enquire about the modes of public transport to get there, such as a subway or bus route. If they plan on driving there, it is essential to ask about the parking situation and how much it may cost. Learning about the healthcare establishment’s location could help narrow the list of potential psychiatrists. For example, one could also check with the expert if the building has an elevator and a ramp for wheelchair access to avoid any inconveniences after they hire the professional.
What are the office policies?
It is important for one to ask the expert about various office policies. For example, one could also check if there is time to take phone calls or if the expert accepts email questions and the respective charge. The individual should also ask whether the professional makes house calls. Other questions about the policy include how far in advance an appointment has to be made, the process for urgent care, and who handles patients after hours or when the expert is away. Finding out who to contact during an emergency is also essential when selecting a psychiatrist.