17 Therapist Questions for Depression

Therapist Questions for Depression

In this article, we will be discussing therapist questions for depression, questions for depression, how to answer your therapist’s questions and frequently asked questions about depression.

When one comes into a therapy clinic, the client or the client’s company (possibly for minor clients or for those unable to speak) will be asked several questions regarding the individual’s background and health, including mental conditions.

Before someone is diagnosed with depression or any psychological disorder, clinicians make assessments and conduct tests and evaluations.  

Some tools such as battery of tests, test questionnaires, mental status examination forms used are adopted from other mental health professionals, others have been widely used as it is established while others produce their own. But it should be a reliable and a valid instrument before utilizing it in the practice.

Questions your therapist might ask

–          What made you seek therapy?

–          How have you been coping with the issue/s you encountered or encountering that led you to therapy?

–          Have you been to therapy before?

–          What was it like growing up as a child in your home?

–          Have you ever thought of injuring yourself or ending your life?

–          How have you been getting along with others?

–          What do you anticipate and hope to achieve in the therapy?

Therapist Questions for Depression

In clinics, there are different tools mental health professionals use before they begin their first appointment or when in the middle of intervention or sessions with their client.

Here are a few:    

The following statements/questions from Patient Health Questionnaire (Kroenke, Spitzer, Williams, & Löwe, 2010) pertaining to the client’s past two weeks will be asked to them and should be answered with the responses not at all, several days, more than half the days or nearly everyday:

Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
Feeling tired or having little energy.
Poor appetite or overeating.
Feeling bad about yourself—or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down.
Trouble concentrating on things such as reading the newspaper or watching television.
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed? Or the opposite—being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual.
Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way.

If you answered above, the question how difficult have these made you work with things at home, in school at work or get along with others should be answered with the following:

–          Not difficult at all

–          Somewhat difficult

–          Very difficult

–          Extremely difficult

Beck Depression Inventory – Second Edition (Dozois, & Covin, 2004) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 2010). The statements below should be answered according to frequency of the experience.

NeverSometimesFrequentlyAlmost Always
I feel pleasant.1234
I feel nervous and restless.1234
I feel satisfied with myself.1234
I wish I could be as happy as others seem to be.1234
I feel like a failure.1234
I feel rested.1234
I am “calm, cool, and collected.”1234
I feel that difficulties are piling up so that I cannot overcome them.1234
I worry too much over something that really doesn’t matter.1234
I am happy.1234
I have disturbing thoughts.1234
I lack self-confidence.1234
I feel secure.1234
I make decisions easily.1234
I feel inadequate.1234
I am content.1234
Some unimportant thought runs through my mind and bothers me.1234
I take disappointments so keenly that I can’t put them out of my mind.1234
I am a steady person.1234
I get in a state of tension or turmoil as I think over my recent concerns.1234
     

Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to intervene in thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to the distressing symptoms and emotions of a person. The Antecedents, Behavior and Consequences (ABC) Model help both parties identify the issue and work from there.

This therapy facilitates the person in identifying and examining their thoughts by asking the following questions that pertains to:

Antecedents:

–          What did you feel before doing it? (affective)

–          What did you physically feel before it happened? Did you feel uncomfortable or sick in any way? (Somatic)

Behavior:

–          What did you feel after doing it? (Affective)

–          Did you feel any bodily sensations after it happened such as shaking? (Somatic)

Consequences

–          Did this behavior startle you or significantly catch your attention in some way?

–          Can you identify the good that happened as a result of the behavior?

These questions and tools are just one of the many examples used by therapists during sessions with clients. A therapist may also create their own, adopt their colleagues’, or opt to utilize established tests and questionnaires.

These questions may be asked verbally during sessions, by using pen and paper or computer-assisted testing. Some may also be answered through a battery of tests which may take more time than expected.

How to answer your therapist’s questions      

Mental health professionals vary on their approaches in therapy. While this is so, it is important to know what to expect and how you hope the therapy will go as you move forward. If you are not sure yet, it will be good and will be easier by letting your therapist know about this.

Therapists may ask a lot of open-ended questions. Being ready and willing to answer their question will facilitate the process. This is also one of the many ways therapists do to make the client feel comfortable and safe during sessions as the client therapist relationship is also key to having an efficient intervention.  

While you want the therapy to go smoothly on the first session, there are times or even other people who are not yet ready to be as open and honest as they can during the first appointment. However, therapists are more eager to make you feel more comfortable than make you feel uneasy, especially during the first appointment.

There might also be questions that you are not ready to answer yet or not willing to open to your therapist and that is okay. You have the right for privacy and you can disclose only what you are comfortable to your therapist.

Moreover, note that the therapy session is a safe haven. It is a place where this person is keen to listen and acknowledge your condition and your stories and is willing to help you in the best way possible to better your condition.

If you feel uncomfortable with the process, especially during the first session, that is fine. This is a normal thing for others especially during the first time, especially for those who are reserved or anxious. Nevertheless, there will come a moment you will feel to be in sync or complementary with your therapist. If not, do not worry as you will eventually find one that matches you.

A person might also feel uncomfortable and even worse during the first few sessions. This is possible and do know it is normal. Sometimes it takes time for the therapy to work well and better for the client and even for the therapist. So patience, openness and willingness are keys.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs: Questions Your Therapist Might Ask About Your Depression

What questions do therapists ask about depression?

Therapists may ask questions that will require you to answer by rating such as your level of interest in pleasurable things, trouble falling asleep, appetite, frequency of your negative thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, security, contentment, anxiety and like so.

What questions should a therapist ask?

Therapists may ask questions pertaining to your reason on seeking therapy, you coping with the issue(s) or problem(s) that brought you to therapy, if you have done therapy before, ask about your family history and/or background, if you have attempted harming yourself, how is your relationship with others, your expectations with the therapy and information about your medical history and mental state and any questions relevant to your condition that will be useful for them.

What are the types of therapy used for depression?

There are many methods and approaches used by therapists used as an intervention for depression. W few would be interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, music therapy, dialectical-behavior therapy, art therapy and individual therapy. One may also be suggested to join a support group as part of the intervention.

What are open ended questions in counseling?

Open-ended questions are queries by the therapist that are not answerable by yes or no. This may be answered freely like telling a story, saying whatever comes up one someone’s mind and may answer the questions who, what, when and where and why. These questions can help the therapist in facilitating the therapy and client therapist relationship.

Can I ask therapist questions?

Yes, you can. No questions are not valid during therapy sessions. You may also make a list of questions you want to ask pertaining to the sessions and your concerns. Moreso, it is okay to ask personal questions, but keep in mind that your therapist also has the right to privacy and may limit their answers. It is always better to ask first before assuming. However, it is also possible your therapist will not or cannot give answers to some questions for different reasons.

What are process questions?

Process questions are queries that allow the counselor to acquire in depth knowledge about the individual. It could pertain to the person’s family background, history, coping, how the intervention is helping them with their condition

How do I go deeper in therapy?

There are many ways to go deeper to your therapy, and a few are: find a therapist that will complement you and your condition; and most importantly, help you in the best way possible; put first your concerns; focus on the process not the end goal; open yourself to willingness for the treatment; participate in the recommended interventions; try again if the first or first few times do not work; and be patient and kind with yourself along the process.

What should I talk to my therapist about?

Aside from the concerns about your condition, you can also let your therapist know what you are truly feeling with the sessions, how have you been doing and coping with the interventions,

How often should I see my therapist?

Once or once every other week will do. Especially during the start of the therapy. However, some therapists will also ask you to come back often because of several factors such as efficiency of interventions and sessions and condition of the person. Active participation by both the therapist and the client is also essential in the improvement of the client’s condition. According to a research, more frequency of therapy sessions resulted in faster recovery.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed therapist questions for depression, questions for depression, how to answer your therapist’s questions and frequently asked questions about depression.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioral therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://positivepsychology.com/common-therapy-questions/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/questions-therapist-first-session_l_5d165604e4b082e55368cc5f?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGaIaLRenErh0fLXrCahwCivZ8vB7Y-JZ9kZR70sxtcjHZSOeb05ISGiyYDjWytlxFS1n67b7vJCdvN695i39X9JwvebaCD8DmSl_y5yjhi5axx92t2C4SBLAp7JPCN3F-atd610z4nhbS2xsyJGysIH5w0WO1g4o4NP9BHmqpJN

https://positivepsychology.com/common-therapy-questions/

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