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What Exactly is a Phone Consultation?

Updated: 2 hours ago


Looking for a provider can be a bit intimidating. You’ve decided to contact a professional, but so many profiles and websites exist. It’s tough to narrow it down to find someone that sounds like someone you’d like to work with. Then you notice that on nearly every profile and website, you see “free 15-minute phone consultation!” Not everyone knows what a phone consultation is, and if you are reaching out to a provider due to some anxiety, ‘not knowing’ can stop you in your tracks. I want to help you feel a bit more comfortable and confident taking these fantastic steps for yourself by answering the question - what exactly is a phone consultation?


A phone consultation is a brief conversation used to determine if a good fit exists between you and the provider you are potentially working with. This an excellent opportunity for the provider to learn about you and what you’re looking for and ask any questions you might have for them. Though every consult will be slightly different, here are some things that may come up in your consult.


What You’re Looking for Help With


This is an excellent topic of discussion because it allows you to share a summary of what is going on for you. The provider you are speaking with will start to get a picture of what you want help with, and they can let you know if they have the skills and experience to do so! If they don’t have the specialization you are looking for, they might be able to provide referrals for you to someone who does!


The Provider’s Style


Just like every person is unique, the same goes for providers! Some providers are direct, others are more stoic, and still, others are energetic - the styles are endless! You can get a feel for the provider’s personality on the phone and hear about how they structure sessions and what models or interventions they typically use with someone in your situation.


Financial Items


In your conversation, you will likely discuss some money-related things, like fees for sessions, whether they take insurance, and whether you even want to use your insurance anyway. Feel free to ask questions. If you decide to use insurance, you may want to call your insurance company directly and find out if you have coverage, if there are any limitations on the number of therapy sessions, etc. You also always have the option to self-pay if they do not take your insurance or use your out-of-network benefits if you have them.


Scheduling


After chatting and you both decide it seems like a good fit, hopefully, there is a time slot that will work for you two to meet. Your ideal time may be unavailable because there is only one provider and many potential clients. Thinking creatively, not to mention prioritizing your health and well-being with yourself (and maybe your place of work), is essential. You are worth it! For most, if not all, people, actively deciding to prioritize therapy and working on themselves is a massive part of being ready to dig into the work that comes with self-growth and healing.


The Next Steps


Yes! You have an appointment, and you’re feeling great about this. The following steps may include confirming your appointment time, getting directions to the office, and discussing the intake paperwork process. Many providers have clients fill out paperwork to obtain demographic information and more clinically relevant information from you before the first session. I send an email link to my secure patient portal, where clients can log in and complete paperwork at least 48 hours before their appointment. This way, I can review it before they walk in the door, and they don’t have to take up their session time filling it out.


Your Questions!


Providers want to address any concerns, worries, and questions you may have about the process. Feel free to voice them! If something was not apparent or addressed, speak up, it's ok.


So There You Have It!


As I have mentioned, phone consults will vary among different providers, so your conversation may have more items or fewer items than are on this list. Hopefully, this gives you an idea and clears up any anxiety about what precisely this phone consult is. I love phone consultations because they are the first step in developing a therapeutic relationship.


Many clients have told me they started to feel better during the consult! This is why I always do a phone consult with potential clients before scheduling that first appointment. A phone consultation ensures you and the provider feel good about working together during treatment!


If you’d like to work with me, schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation by contacting me here. Let’s chat!


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*The information and resources on this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. The use of this website does not imply nor establish any provider-client relationship. Furthermore, the information obtained from this site should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional.

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Paul Hunnicutt is a licensed Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Texas. Paul owns an online private practice called Texas Mental Health and Wellness Center PLLC. Paul loves to help intelligent and driven people move from anxiety and depression to having confidence and clarity about their lives. If you want to work with him, click here to set up a consult.

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