The Interview Process
Ideally, patients should have the opportunity to interview potential therapists, just as they would when selecting other members of their medical team. As an empowered patient, you have the right to choose who treats you and to understand his or her treatment philosophy. If you don’t click with the first person you speak with, meeting with more than one provider is reasonable when making this important decision. Some of the questions you might consider asking include:
- Do you have experience working with MS patients?
- What is your success rate in treating depression?
- What is your psychological treatment approach?
- What are your office hours?
- Do you work closely with physicians?
- How do you feel about using medications to treat depression?
- Are your services covered by my insurance?
These questions will help give you the facts, but how you feel about the therapist at a “gut level” is the most important consideration. Does he or she listen to you? Do you feel that he or she cares about your concerns? Do you feel comfortable with the therapist? Does the therapist understand issues relating to chronic illness? The questions you ask, along with a certain amount of intuition, will help guide you toward the right match.
Once connected with the right therapist, a relationship can be established. This may ultimately help you to feel less alone as you gain a greater understanding of your emotions and how to feel better again.