The 7 Questions You Need to Ask Your Therapist
The first appointment with a new therapist can sometimes feel like cramming for a test. An abundance of information and assessment, not all of it understood, given in less than an hour. When you see us for the first time, arm yourself with these seven questions to make sure you’re covered and don’t miss a thing.
Nothing is more frustrating when you don’t understand what’s going on and what’s going to happen. Many therapists speak in complicated medical jargon or they oversimplify their explanations, an issue we’re also guilty of having made from time to time.
On the flip side, some clients don’t always speak up and ask for clarification or more details. Depending on your current knowledge or desire to learn, this lack of understanding is an easy trap to fall into for both you and your therapist.
Today, we offer you some questions to help you take charge of your condition and understand not only your pain better, but what it means for you, your recovery, and your life.
1. What are the medical or technical terms for my condition?
Having the correct medical terms for your condition allows you to research more specific concerns as they come up after your appointment. You’ll be able to find real stories and recovery methods, time frames, and options from others who have experienced the same diagnosis, which would have been hidden if you didn’t know the language
2. What do those medical or technical terms mean for me and my life?
Even if you understand the terms being used, asking for details on the extent of the effects will give you further relief and clarification. This information can spell out the current and future effects your pain has on your body, and how that’s expected to change throughout the healing process.
Knowing will help you to prepare, mentally and physically, to have the best chance at a speedy recovery.
Because let’s be honest, no one enjoys the disappointment or the anxiety that comes with the unknown. Ease your mind; give yourself the gift of knowledge and understanding. Knowing the details could prevent you from further injuring yourself now or in the future.
3. What is an accurate time frame that I will be able to do “X”?
Let your therapist know your specific goals, no matter how silly or insignificant you think they may be. Or even if you think it might be unrealistic. Be honest with yourself.
Picking up your grandchild, to drive again, to play your favorite sport, or take the stairs are worthy goals that you should ask more questions about. Knowing the end game will help your therapist to predict how long it might take to reach those milestones. Different goals require different recovery times.
Don’t wonder and get anxious over how long it will take; ask your therapist to ease any underlying fears you may have.
4. What are all the therapies or treatment options that would work for my situation?
With the expanding medical knowledge about the human body and new technologies being invented each day, there may be more than one option to treat your condition. Having different options could mean different results or recovery times. A combination of treatment therapies can also expedite healing since different modalities can target different movements and parts of the body.
When discussing multiple options, be sure to ask the questions above for each option. Most important, know what each option is, what it really means for your recovery and how long it will take. This will allow you to make the decision that is right for you and your life. It is important to understand the benefits and side effects of each treatment option, and how they affect each other, before making a final decision.
5. Are there treatment options marketed for my condition that do not work?
This is a big one. Many individuals and companies are out there selling and suggesting treatment methods that do not have stable or positive results for every condition. Knowing and guarding yourself against these types of solicitations will not only save you time and money, but quite possibly your health.
At Satori, we care about giving you the most accurate, comprehensive, evidence-based treatment methods. Our focus is on treating the root cause and getting you better as soon as possible, not offering what’s trendy to fill the clinic.
6. What precautionary steps I can take for the smoothest recovery?
Depending on your injury or condition, extra steps may be required to aid your recovery. Not all treatment plans are created equal. For example, continued movement for one client may not be right for another.
After many years of treating individuals with similar types of pain, we’ve seen what helps, what doesn’t help, and what hurts. Knowing the best route of action could save you recovery time.
7. Are there precautionary measures I can take so that this will not happen again?
Whether you’re worried about injuring the same part or a similar part elsewhere in your body, knowing what you can do to prevent further injury will keep you from experiencing more pain and treatments in the future. In some cases, like when the injury was originally caused by an accident, there may be measures you can take to prevent injuring the originally damaged tissue.
The suggestions could be as simple as improved posture, using a different handbag, exercise or weight loss. Our job as therapists isn’t just to diagnose, inform, and treat you on current conditions, but to also help you prevent further or future injury.
Knowledge is Power, applied knowledge is even better.
The more you’re aware of and understand your condition, how it affects your body, how it affects your lifestyle, and the treatments available, the more confident and successful you’ll be in your recovery process. Don’t fall into the knowledge trap; by applying the knowledge that you have gained, you can take action that moves you forward in optimizing your health. We’re committed to helping you achieve this too.
Until next week,