8 Questions You Should Ask Any Psychologist You are Considering

Psychotherapy is a partnership between a person and a psychologist that is designed to help a person overcome his/her difficulties. It offers a supportive environment where feelings and worries can be shared in an honest and confidential way.


Professional psychologists are highly trained in the assessment and treatment of mental health concerns, addressing problematic behavior patterns (e.g., smoking, relationship difficulties, excessive worry), and the use of behavior change strategies.


Professional psychologists follow a strong code of ethical standards and abide by the state’s laws that regulate their profession; however, picking the right psychologist can be tricky. There are people who label themselves as “therapists” who may not have the appropriate training and credentials to best help others.


To help you find the right psychologist and to protect you from potential harm, here are 8 questions you should ask any psychologist you are considering:


1. Are you a licensed psychologist in this state? Is your license active and in good standing?


2. Where did you get your degree? What type of training or clinical experiences have you had in treating the kinds of problems I am having (mood problems, anxiety, sleep difficulties, etc.)?


3. How many years have you been seeing clients?


4. What is/are your areas of expertise?


5. I am here because (I am feeling stressed, I feel sad, I lost a person close to me, I feel disoriented), and I’m having trouble (at work, at home, in social situations, sleeping). What has been your experience treating this kind of problem?


6. What type of treatments do you use? How effective are they in dealing with situations similar to mine? How do you know if treatment is working, and what do you do when it doesn’t work?


7. How much do you charge? Do you accept my insurance? Do you have availability in the (mornings, afternoons, evenings, weekends)? When’s the earliest date that I can see you for our first appointment?


8. Does your work in therapy tend to be more focused on the past or the present? Do you tend to see people for long-term therapy or for shorter-term therapy?

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"Portland Psychotherapy is special. I have the utmost confidence in each of the clinicians here. They are compassionate, genuine, and have formed a model clinic in the scientist-practioner tradition. They are committed to effectively implementing research-supported treatments and also work to advance the science in our field through psychotherapy research. The clinic enjoys an outstanding reputation among other mental health professionals as a top-notch evidence-based practice. This is a place I would refer a family member or close friend."

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"This clinic is run by leading experts in the field, using evidence based methods that have been shown to work. If you are facing complex or long-standing problems then this is definitely the place to go. You will receive treatment from experienced, compassionate, well trained therapists who will deliver a high level of care. I have known and worked with Jason Luoma for over 6 years and can tell you that he is very committed to helping people develop lives that are fulfilling and satisfying."

- M.W.

"Portland Psychotherapy is a unique practice. It not only provides knowledgeable, compassionate and highly effective treatments for their clients, but it is also a place where the therapists are actively involved in cutting edge clinical research to find ever more effective ways to serve their clients to help improve the quality of their lives. I know all of the therapists in this practice through participation in an ongoing peer consultation group for over 2 years, and I can say without hesitation that these are the professionals I would send my family and friends to if they needed help."


"Portland Psychotherapy is a unique and valuable resource in our community as it is staffed by therapists trained in various specialty areas. Drs. LeJeune and Luoma, who started the clinic, are highly respected professionals in the community, known for their extensive knowledge and expertise as therapists, researchers, and trainers. I have referred several of my clients to Portland Psychotherapy and have been most impressed and reassured by the feedback I have received about their experience. I have no hesitation about continuing to refer my clients to Portland Psychotherapy and appreciate the high quality of care that is provided by the professionals in this practice."

- M.B.