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  • Jennifer Mendoza, LCSW

What to Expect in Therapy Consultation

Reaching out to inquire about therapy services is a big step, especially if it's your first time considering therapy. Knowing what to expect can help!

If you are thinking about booking a therapy consultation, I want you to know that I am proud of you for considering this next step! Many people don't take that step, even if it they think it may be beneficial for them. So feel free to pat yourself on the back for getting this far!

What is a therapy consultation anyway?

Good question! If you've browsed through therapist profiles or websites, you have likely seen that many offer a "free 15 minute consultation." Many therapists will offer a free phone consultation to prospective clients. This is a chance for you to get to know the therapist and see if you can really picture yourself sitting across from them (or on a video call with them) throughout your time in therapy. I offer a free video consultation, because I feel that is a better way to really get a feel for my personality and to see what it may be like to meet with me (either in person or virtually) during your time in therapy. It is really important that YOU feel like we "click!"

What will we discuss during your consultation?

I am licensed in both California and Oregon, and can provide telehealth/virtual therapy throughout both states. I will first make sure that you live in an area that I can service. If you don't, I am happy to connect you with a provider in your area.

I want to know what has prompted you to consider therapy at this time, and if you have ever sought therapy in the past. I may even ask you what worked/what did not work for you, because I really want to get a sense for what you are looking for. My approach to therapy is collaborative, and I see you as the expert in your life. I do not feel it is my role to give you advice on what I think you need to work on in YOUR therapy session. I want to know what your goals are for therapy, and how your life would be different once you are ready to "graduate" from therapy services.

This will help me get to know your expectations and hopes for therapy. If I feel confident that I have the skills and ability to support you in these areas, I will talk with you about my approach to therapy and what it may look like to work with me to address your specific concerns.

If I feel that my skills may not be the best fit to help you address your goals, I may provide you with referrals to other therapists that I feel will confidently be able to help you meet your goals in therapy.

What else do I need to know?

During our consultation, I will also share with you what to expect from therapy in general. I typically meet with clients on a weekly basis so that we can make the most of our time together and help you meet your goals more efficiently. My goal is to work myself out of a job- I do not want you to be in therapy forever! I want to support you in the ways you need so that you can feel empowered to move forward with increased confidence and skills. If you feel weekly therapy won't exactly work for your schedule, we can talk about a plan that better meets your needs.

We will also discuss your therapy budget. Therapy is an investment and I want to make sure you feel financially comfortable with my fee before we start our work together. If your budget does not align with my fee, we may discuss:

  • How to check your out-of-network mental health benefits with your insurance to see if you might be reimbursed for your therapy

  • Referrals to other providers that might be in network with your insurance or offer a lower fee

I will give you the opportunity to ask all the questions you may have about therapy or my approach. Don't be shy! It's so important that you ask anything that might be on your mind so you feel fully comfortable with our next steps.

Next Steps

You've made the decision to move forward- great! I will gladly discuss availability and get you scheduled for your first therapy session. Regardless if we will be meeting in person or virtually, I will send over all of the intake paperwork and consent forms via my secure client portal.

If you need more time to think about what you'd like to do, that's okay too! I am happy to support you in the path that works best for you, even if that means I am connecting you with a provider that may be a better fit.


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