A practitioner asked me recently how to prepare for meetings she had set up with doctors. She was concerned about how to convey to them what her job entailed, and what questions they might ask. It was a bit like asking me what she might be asked in an interview!
When I visited our local doctors some years ago with my colleague, Jennifer, the questions we were asked varied hugely from practice to practice. In some doctors’ surgeries, we were asked lots of questions; in some we were asked none at all, and were left to do the talking.
Here is a list of questions you may be asked by doctors or others who might refer clients to you, and to which you might like to prepare a reply in advance, so that you can respond easily and naturally when the time comes around.
- What do you do?
- What qualifications do you have?
- How will that help?
- How long will it take?
- What results can a client expect?
- Do you treat medical card holders?
- What is your position on medication for depression?
- How would you approach meeting a person who was suicidal?
- Do you do CBT? What is the difference between your approach and …
- I already have connections with other therapists in the area, why would I want to send someone to you rather than them?
If you find yourself with a doctor who expects you to make a presentation, you could speak from the answers you have prepared. If possible without breaching client confidentiality, try to give some examples from your experience which highlight your skills and abilities. Again, you’ll need to think about this in advance.
Remember, doctors come from a perspective of being experts in the medical field, and they will probably expect you to be an expert too! Many therapists are uncomfortable with the whole expert idea, but you need to let the doctors know that their clients are in safe hands, and preparation helps build confidence.
Although it’s not essential, it does help if you work with a particular niche, which will be more memorable than general practice. You can then plan your answers focussing on that niche. If you don’t, plan to focus on one or two areas that are likely to be coming into the doctor’s experience, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks.
You might also want to check out the following posts:
If you’d like help growing or developing your practice, please contact me for a free 20 minute consultation or leave your question or comment in the box below.