What are good therapy questions?

Therapy can sometimes seem a bit mysterious, especially if you've never experienced it before. It's a place where you explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences to promote healing and find solutions to life's challenges. While deeply rewarding, the prospect of beginning therapy can feel daunting, and it's natural to wonder what those sessions will actually be like.


One of the most common questions people have relates to – well, questions!

  • What will your therapist ask you?
  • What questions should you be prepared to answer?
  • And are there questions you should ask in return?

In this article, I will try and share with you some of the questions that may come up in therapy.

Questions your therapist may ask you

Therapists ask questions for many reasons, primarily to gain a better understanding of you and the reasons you've chosen to seek help.

Reason for seeking therapy

Expect your therapist to start with an open-ended question like, "So, what brings you in today?" or "What aspects of your life would you like to change?"

Goals and expectations

Therapists are keen to know what you'd like to accomplish, as this helps tailor the therapeutic approach. They might ask, "If therapy is successful, how will your life be different?" or "What do you hope to gain from therapy?"

Personal background

Questions about your childhood experiences, family relationships, and significant events can offer insight into patterns and influences that shape who you are.

Mental and physical health

Be prepared to discuss your current emotional state, any history of mental health concerns, and how your physical health may be connected to what you're experiencing.

Questions to ask your therapist

Just as your therapist will want to learn more about you, it's equally important that you feel informed and secure in your choice of therapist. Here are a few key questions to consider:

Qualifications and experience

Don't be afraid to ask about your therapist's education, training, and professional memberships. So, I would say that I am an accredited member of the BACP, I have a professional diploma in counselling, along with a bacherlors degree in psychology and a masters in gender studies.

However, every therapist will have a unique and personal journey towards their profession, so it pays to be curious. You might ask, "Could you tell me more about your professional background?"

Also, even though no one client is alike, you might find it helpful to inquire about their experience in addressing issues similar to yours.

Methods and approaches

Therapy isn't one-size-fits-all. Your therapist may use techniques like person-centred therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, or a blend of others.

I tend to integrate person-centred approaches with psychodynamic approaches in my work. Understanding your therapist’s approach will help you see if it aligns with your needs.

Practical matters

It's important to be clear about logistics upfront. Ask about session durations, frequencies, fees, insurance coverage, cancellation policies, and other practical concerns. If this doesn’t work for you, think about negotiating or finding someone else.


Many therapists agree that the relationship between them and the client is one of the most important factors in therapy. A simple but powerful question is to ask yourself, "Do I feel safe and understood by this person?" Don't hesitate to trust your intuition.

OK, maybe I snuck in a question for yourself there, rather than your therapist. But those are important too! Let's look at some more…

Questions to ask yourself

Before committing to therapy, it's useful to engage in some self-reflection:

Am I ready?

Therapy may bring up difficult emotions and memories. Consider if you're at a point where you feel prepared to explore these aspects of yourself honestly.

Am I willing to be open and honest?

Therapy thrives on trust and vulnerability. Are you prepared to share the difficult parts of yourself, as well as those you're proud of?

What are my expectations?

Therapy isn't magic; it takes time and effort. Ask yourself if you're committed to the journey, even with its potential ups and downs.

By understanding the potential flow of questions in therapy and those you should ask yourself, my hope is that you'll feel more empowered and comfortable when taking those first steps. Remember, therapy isn't about having all the answers or magically feeling better overnight. It's about taking a courageous step towards growth, healing, and self-awareness.

If you're interested in exploring therapy further, please feel free to visit my Counselling Directory profile.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London WC1N & Altrincham WA15
Written by William Smith, MSc, BSc, MBACP (Accred)
London WC1N & Altrincham WA15

William (he/him), an experienced therapist, specialises in relationships, anxiety, stress, and LGBTQ+ issues. With a commitment to creating a nurturing environment, he guides adults through their journeys of self-discovery and emotional wellness.

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