iQuanti: Finding a new psychiatrist can be tough. You have to put yourself out there and tell a stranger very personal things, all the while knowing you might have to start the search again next week if the doctor isn't the right fit for you.
Whether you're going through your insurance, getting a referral from your primary care physician, or just trying to find someone in your area—for example, looking for a Fort Worth psychiatrist—there are ways to make the initial search easier. It may take a few sessions to really know if you work well together with a new psychiatrist, but the initial appointment is the perfect time to ask a few important questions to see if you'll be a good fit.
What will the sessions be like?
Now it's time for the practical follow-up questions. How long will the sessions last, and how often do they take place? Different psychiatrists may have different ideas about what psychiatric help looks like—some may be more medication-focused, while others favor a more holistic approach. Find out how often they schedule check-ins, as you might need to try different medications and dosages to find something that works. These questions can give you a sense of what your treatment plan might look like.
Whom do I contact with an urgent issue?
Your psychiatrist may suggest that you go to the ER or a crisis mental health clinic if there's an urgent issue, particularly after hours. But it's worth asking if the psychiatrist can make room for you on short notice if need be.
What's the process for booking sessions?
In other words: How easy will it be to get in touch with them? Are you able to book sessions online? Are the sessions themselves online or in-person? Do they charge a penalty for cancellations? And, crucially, how quickly will you be able to get your prescriptions refilled?
How do you keep information confidential?
Trust is paramount in any therapist-patient relationship. As medical doctors, psychiatrists are required by law to adhere to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Feel free to ask what measures are in place to protect your information; you'll need to feel comfortable sharing if you want your sessions to be productive.
How much will sessions cost?
The first thing you'll want to find out is whether your insurance will cover your sessions. Depending on your insurance, copays can cost quite a bit—so a frank discussion regarding fees is paramount when getting to know a new psychiatrist.
How will you check in on progress?
You need a psychiatrist that takes you, your issues, and your thoughts seriously. Talk about how they might gauge progress and find out what questions they might ask you to see how you're adjusting to medication. Don't hesitate to look for a new psychiatrist if you feel your feelings and needs are being minimized. Remember, seeing a psychiatrist is for your benefit—you owe it to yourself to ask all the questions you need to be comfortable.
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Original Source: 6 Questions to Ask Your New Psychiatrist