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29 Questions to Ask When Selecting a New Therapist for Borderline Personality Disorder

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Finding a new therapist can be a complicated, often-overwhelming process for anyone. It’s hard to know what to expect, and it’s almost impossible to know if a therapist will be a good match until you meet with them.

However, people who live with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can have an especially difficult time finding a clinician who is a good fit and willing to work with them. Because of the stigma associated with this specific mental health condition, many therapists are unwilling to work with clients with BPD. Furthermore, sometimes even clinicians who are willing to treat clients with BPD don’t have the background and expertise to prove helpful.

If you are shopping for a new therapist and live with borderline personality disorder, you can research potential therapists, then ask any who seem to be a good match these 29 questions.

Questions Regarding Expertise

1. What experience do you have treating clients with BPD?

2. Have you gone through any specialized training for working with BPD clients?

3. What do you believe are your strengths as a therapist?

4. Do you offer fully adherent dialectical behavior therapy

Questions About General Approach 

5. What modalities do you typically use with clients like me?

6. Would you do a formal evaluation before determining a treatment plan?

7. How long do you typically work with clients? 

8. What do you think could be causing my symptoms?

9. Do you set specific treatment goals? If so, how do you determine these goals?

10. Are you willing to collaborate with other people on my treatment team, such as a psychiatrist?

11. Do you believe recovery from BPD is possible?

Questions About Sessions

12. What does your approach to individual sessions look like?

13. How can I prepare for our sessions? Would I have homework between sessions?

14. How often would we meet?

15. Do you offer extended-length sessions beyond 60 minutes?

16. What is your policy on contact between sessions?

17. Do you offer virtual or telehealth sessions?

18. What happens if I need to cancel a session?

19. Do you offer any group therapy in addition to individual sessions?

Did you know?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is the gold standard for therapy treating borderline personality disorder.

Financial Questions

20. Do you accept insurance? If so, which insurance do you take?

21. What other payment methods do you accept?

22. Do you have a cancellation fee? If so, what is it?

23. How will you collect payments?

Questions That May Relate to Your Personal Experience 

24. Do you have any specific policies for clients who require hospitalization?

25. What are some reasons you might terminate with a client? How would you communicate this and what would you do to refer out?

26. If I am experiencing suicidal thoughts, how should I handle this? Should I communicate these thoughts to you?

27. Do you have any issues working with clients of certain religious or ethnic backgrounds?

28. Are you accepting of and affirming for clients in the LGBTQIA+ community?

29. Do you also offer support for comorbidities like substance use disorders or eating disorders?

You can obviously ask other things directly related to your personal needs; these 29 questions are a great starting point if you’re looking for a new therapist. Just remember, you have the right to research therapists and ask questions before you simply commit to a clinician.

For more on finding a therapist, check out the following articles from our community:

Getty Images photo via izusek

Originally published: June 6, 2022
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