How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a therapist. Family members or friends may give recommendations based on their experiences. Your health insurance company, employee assistance program, clergy, or state or local mental health agencies also may offer recommendations.

Before scheduling sessions with a therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for your family. Here are some factors to consider and questions to ask:

  • Education and experience. What is your educational and training background? Are you licensed by the state? Are you accredited by the AAMFT or other professional organizations? Do you have specialty training in family psychotherapy? What is your experience with my family's type of problem?
  • Location and availability. Where is your office? What are your office hours? Are you available in case of emergency?
  • Length and number of sessions. How long is each session? How often are sessions scheduled? How many sessions should I expect to have?
  • Fees and insurance. How much do you charge for each session? Are your services covered by my health insurance plan? Will I need to pay the full fee upfront? What is your policy on canceled sessions?
Nov. 08, 2014