|Finding a Therapist: A Step-by-Step Guide|
Here are the steps you will find on our “treasure map":
Step 1: Gather a list of all of the CBT therapists you can find in your area.
Step 2: Send a brief email to each CBT therapist on your list. A suggested email is provided.
Step 3: Have a brief chat on the phone with each CBT therapist you are considering. Suggested questions for this short conversation are provided.
Step 4: Choose a CBT therapist for an initial session.
Go to this website: http://www.babcp.com/
Click on "Find a CBT Therapist."
For each CBT therapist on your list, send an email or leave a brief phone message.
Here is a suggested email:
Dear Dr. [therapist’s name],
I found your name and email address from babcp.com. I live in [your city or town]. I am working for my recovery from panic disorder, and I am looking for an experienced CBT therapist to work with. If you are available, I would be interested in having a brief chat with you on the phone, to ask you a few questions. My number is [your phone number].
If no email address is listed, leave a brief phone message. Here is a suggested phone message:
name is [your name]. I found your name and phone number through babcp.com.
I live in [your city or town].
I’m working for my recovery from panic disorder, and I’m
looking for an experienced CBT therapist to work with.
If you’re available, I’d be interested in having a brief
chat with you, to ask you a few questions.
My number is [your phone number].
Step 3: Phone Interviews
Have a brief chat on the phone with each CBT therapist you are considering. Remember: you are interviewing them to see if they feel like a good “match” for your needs.
Here are some suggested questions to ask:
1) What can you tell me about your experience with CBT?
2) Are you familiar with the work of David Barlow? Do you use his approach or something similar?
3) In your experience, about how many sessions does it take before a client sees some progress in their recovery?
4) What are your fees?
Thank you very much for your time. I’ll
give this some thought, and if I’m interested, I’ll call you back
to set up an initial session.
If agoraphobia makes it difficult to travel to the therapist’s office, say something like this:
“I am willing to work for my recovery from agoraphobia. Right now, your office is outside of my “safe” zone. Are you willing to work with me on the phone until I can travel to your office?”
A personal note from Neal: When I started CBT, I was unable to travel to my therapist's office. We started with phone sessions, and it worked great!
Choose a therapist for an initial session. Call and schedule an appointment.
The purpose of the initial session is to get acquainted and learn about your therapist’s approach. Remember that the therapist you hire is working for you. The initial session should give you the information you need to decide if he/she is right for the job. Ask about a specific diagnosis and a specific treatment plan.
After the session, ask yourself how you feel about this prospective therapist. Do you feel comfortable with him/her? Does he/she seem to have the experience and knowledge you are looking for? Do you want to hire this person as your CBT therapist?
If the therapist just
doesn’t feel right for you, call a second therapist for an initial
session. You are entitled
to hire the very best CBT therapist you can find!
We invite your feedback on this
“treasure map,” so we can make it even better. Send your comments and suggestions by
Copyright © 2010, Triumph Over Panic, Inc. All rights reserved.
Triumph Over Panic, Inc. is affiliated with the Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder Foundation.