The services of a therapist can prove invaluable for those suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health and emotional disorders. In recent years, an increased focus on mental wellness has given many the courage to reach out to licensed therapists for help and support.
However, the first step is always the hardest, so we will offer tips on how to email a therapist for the first time.
Before You Start
Modern society recognizes therapy for its many merits, but for many, there is still an aura of personal taboo relating to the subject. If you are on the fence about whether or not to engage the services of a professional therapist, you may wish to perform a little research on the topic to set your mind at ease.
For some, the greatest fear is the unknown, so familiarizing yourself with what ailments therapists handle and what their methods are can do wonders for alleviating concerns. Remember that licensed therapists are professionals in their field and have put considerable hours into education, research, and study to ensure they provide the best patient results.
Once you understand the benefits of sound therapy, you are ready to take the next necessary step before you can prepare your email.
Find a Reputable Therapist
The apprehension of contacting a therapist can be unnerving, and asking for help requires a lot of courage and bravery. It is natural to be nervous, but before you draft an email, you should find the right therapist for your needs.
Therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s crucial to find one that has experience treating your specific struggles, making them uniquely positioned to help you. As hard as it can be, opening up to your therapist will be necessary, so it’s important to review multiple therapists who specialize in handling your needs before selecting one.
When performing your search, consider the different types of therapy:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Couples therapy
Each type has its merits and is essential in detecting symptoms, evaluating emotionally damaging behaviors, and providing proper treatment options.
It would be best to read reviews or locate feedback on prospective choices, which can provide helpful intel on their past performance with other patients. Keep an open mind, however, as people are far more likely to leave feedback if they are upset than whether they had a positive experience, so take the reviews with a grain of salt. Also, try to find sites with the most reviews, so you have a solid database to evaluate.
What You Need to Know
Before you begin, you should have a good understanding of the problems you face to explain them to your prospective therapist effectively. Many people tend to ramble when explaining their challenges, so you should keep your writing concise.
Brainstorm the significant symptoms or problems before you begin writing so you can target what is more important.
In so doing, consider the following questions:
- Are you having difficult thoughts?
- Are there relationships in your life that are stressful to you?
- Do you have difficulties managing the stress of day-to-day life?
- How does your mental health affect your quality of life?
Next, have a specific time frame in mind for when you would like to begin therapy and which dates and times you have available for sessions. While you will likely be limited to openings in the therapist’s schedule, having this information ready will make it easier to ensure that you do not double schedule or select a time that may prove inconvenient.
Life is busy, and it is easy to forget obligations when making decisions on the spot.
Sometimes anxiety or depression can make it challenging to sit down and write an email. If this is the case, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of trusted friends and family. They can help you write the email or provide moral support as you get started. Once you begin a stressful process, it gets easier to keep going.
Of course, it might be painful to open up to them about your mental wellness, but talking to someone close can help you prepare for having difficult conversations with a therapist you do not know at all. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength.
Writing the Email
You should have everything you need to write the email by this point, so let’s dive into the details of how to email a therapist for the first time. Don’t forget, proper formatting and concise language will help you get your point across and connect more easily.
The intent is not to write a novel about your problems in detail; that is something that you will discuss with the therapist in a more appropriate setting. Your main objective is to engage their services to get the help you need, so keep things short and sweet.
Here is how you should organize your email:
Start by addressing the therapist by their correct title and name, then introduce yourself. Explaining how you heard about the therapist is an easy way to break the ice and help you become more comfortable writing.
For example, if a coworker recommended the therapist to you, the mutual connection can be an excellent way to make a positive first impression:
“Hello, Ms. Keagan. I hope this email finds you well. My name is Joe Boden, and I learned about you through my coworker, John. He speaks highly of your services and recommended that I reach out to you.”
Explain the Why
Next, focus on why you are writing this email. This can be challenging, but transparency in your initial email will set you up for success in future sessions. If you are uncomfortable doing so, you don’t need to include any medical diagnoses in the email. Remember to use your brainstorming to keep your writing concise yet beneficial.
Even when you reach the point where you recognize your need for therapy, it can still be challenging to discuss your struggles with another. Remember, the therapist is someone you can trust to help you with them.
Here are two ways that you could begin this section to help you get started:
“Recently, I’ve been having difficulties with my thoughts spiraling out of control, and I was hoping you might be able to help.”
“I have a hard time feeling happy about myself and my achievements, and I was hoping we could talk about it.”
Ask Their Availability
It’s essential to include a point of contact in your email so that your therapist can get back to you with a date and time that works for you both.
Finding something that suits your schedule is part of your therapist’s priority, so don’t be afraid to go back and forth to find the perfect time to devote your attention to the session.
This can be as simple as the following:
“Could you let me know when you’re available as soon as possible?”
“When would you be free to meet with me? Friday afternoons work best for me, but I’m also available on Sunday nights.”
Close Your Email
Finally, you want to close your email graciously and courteously to thank the therapist for their time.
Here are two good ways to close an email courteously:
“Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, X”
When you finish, it is wise to read through what you wrote, correcting any spelling or grammatical mistakes while ensuring that everything you said makes sense. A helpful tip is to read what you wrote aloud to yourself, so you can hear how it sounds. You can also ask someone to look it over for you.
Now you can hit send, take a deep breath, and rejoice that you have taken a giant step toward improving your life.
The Bottom Line
A relationship with a therapist is a two-way street; if you aren’t confident in your choice, you might find yourself talking yourself out of writing that email. Researching prospective therapists beforehand is always a good practice. Not only does it help you find someone suited for your particular needs, but if you find the right therapist, you are much more likely to open up and be honest about your thoughts.
The effects of therapy can help with all kinds of problems you face in life. Therapeutic counseling has proven an effective treatment for mental wellness symptoms and can vastly improve your quality of life. If you are suffering from mental wellness difficulties, now is the time to write an email to set you on the course to a more enjoyable life. And having read this post, you know now how to write that first time email to your therapist of choice.