Asking for help can be very difficult, so I thought it would be helpful for this month’s Ramble to look at what happens once you’ve put your fears aside and made that first step forwards by booking your assessment appointment.
Firstly, don’t be put off by the word ‘assessment’. Really, it is just a chance for you to meet the therapist and see what you think of them. Is this someone you could feel comfortable working with?
The therapist will want to know more about you and the changes you want to make so they can work out if they are the right person to help you, and if so then exactly what kind of treatment they should be offering. Really, their role is to gather information. Be prepared for lots of questions and note taking from your therapist!
The therapist is likely to ask questions about what changes you want to make, how your current problem is affecting you day to day, when it started, if you’ve had any treatment before, and what your hopes are for any treatment they may be able to offer. They will also be asking questions about your general health, medication, alcohol intake, etc., as these are all things which can have an impact on your mental wellbeing.
The assessment is also likely to involve some questionnaires to get a measure of what your mood has been like recently. Remember, with these there are no right or wrong answers – it’s just another chance for you to explain what the problem areas are. I tend to use the ‘PHQ-9’ scale for depression and the ‘GAD-7’ for anxiety. I will also use more specific measures if I feel they might be helpful, like questionnaires which can help measure OCD or Social Anxiety.
As well as the therapist asking lots of questions, make sure you ask any questions that you might have. If you know what these are before the appointment, make a note of them so you don’t forget once you are there. You may have questions about the treatment itself, the therapist’s experience and qualifications, or practical things, like how long sessions last and how much it will cost. Remember, no question is a silly question!
At the end of the assessment the therapist will share their thoughts about what they believe the best next step is for you. If they do offer you treatment it will be up to you to decide if you want to go ahead.
So, what are you waiting for? Depression and anxiety do not need to rule your life – book your assessment appointment and take back control today!
I take bookings via telephone on 07926 485 362, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org