QUESTIONS TO ASK A NEW COUNSELLOR AS A PERSON LIVING ON THE MARGINS

 -created by Tamar Elise and Pam Castelmezzano

 

Some helpful things to consider when looking at choosing a therapist (original post is on Imgur, I have provided the text of the post below).

 

https://imgur.com/a/Z4lrw

QUESTIONS TO ASK A NEW COUNSELLOR AS A PERSON LIVING ON THE MARGINS

Have you ever met with a new counsellor and felt worried about whether or not they will be able to understand and

support you? Sometimes, they will ask you if you have any questions for them, and it's really easy to draw a blank, even though you know there are important things to ask. Here are some suggestions for questions you can ask to help you find out more about how you can work together best!

 

ABOUT THEM:

What schools of therapy do you use most often? Why did you want to become a counsellor? Have you been in therapy

before? How does your lived experience impact your practice? How do you practice anti-racism and anti-oppression in your sessions? What types of concerns or conditions do you think you feel most comfortable supporting people with?

 

THE NITTY-GRITTY:

Do you accept payment on a sliding scale? Do you have to pay on the day of? Do you accept e-transfers? Can I get tax

receipts? What is your cancellation policy? What is the process if a payment is missed? If I don't show up for a session, do you check in? If I go on hiatus, will I lose my spot or have to go back on a waitlist?

 

TREATMENT:

What is your strategy for developing a treatment plan? Does your faith play a role in how you treat clients? Do you use or advocate for non-traditional/non-Euro-Western methods of treatment? How do you incorporate trauma-informed methods? What kinds of external resources do you suggest for clients?

TOUGH STUFF:

Have you worked with suicidal clients or suicide attempt survivors before? Have you worked with clients with persistent or recurrent suicidal ideation? What is your experience with clients who have been diagnosed with BPD or other personality disorders? In what ways do you support people with long histories of complex trauma? What approaches do you use for clients who are grieving?

WELLNESS:

What does it mean for your clients to be well? Have you worked with clients who are generally well, but use services for maintenance? How do you determine when a client has finished therapy? How do you approach closure from individual sessions and from the counselling relationship when it ends? What are instances that would lead you to terminate a counselling relationship?

CONFLICT:

How do you approach situations where a client is angry or upset with you? What do you do when you think a client is

lying or avoiding certain issues? How do you approach supporting a client who is non-compliant? What do you consider to be non-compliant? What are your thoughts on self-diagnosis? What are your thoughts on police/child services/EMS? Under what circumstances would you contact them for a client?

IDENTITY:

What does intersectionality mean to you and how does it impact your practice? How do you navigate working with

clients from different social locations than your own? Have you worked with folx from various cultural and racial

backgrounds? Have you supported clients in interracial relationships? Have you treated clients who are sex workers?

Have you worked with substance users? What are your thoughts on harm reduction? What is important for you to be

aware of when working with clients with visible and invisible disabilities? What is your approach to working with

someone who identifies as neurodivergent? Have you worked with folx who have histories of being abusive?

SEX TALK:
What is your experience working with folx in non-monogamous relationships? What is your experience with discussing sex, BDSM, and kink? Have you supported folx who identify as ace? Have you worked with people with sexual
identities impacted by trauma? Do you have experience working with people with sexual addictions or compulsions?

LGBT2SQ+:

What is your experience working with the queer and trans community? Have you worked with queer families? Have you worked with clients who are interested in transitioning? Have you worked with individuals who have HIV/AIDS? What is your experience working with two-spirit folx? Have you worked with folx that experience internalized homophobia and/or transphobia? How do you support people in coming out?

ARTICLES/LINKS

Depression-Busting Exercise Tips For People Too Depressed To Exercise

https://medium.com/the-establishment/depression-busting-exercise-tips-for-people-too-depressed-to-exercise-c032d098a0f1

Free Guided Meditations (for adults and for kids)
https://free.healthjourneys.com/

ADHD - How to Guard Your Yes With Your Life

https://blackgirllostkeys.com/adhd/how-to-guard-your-yes/

Public Garden
PTS - Chemical or natural?