In your very first phone call, you will probably encounter an answering machine you only need to leave the following information:
1. That you want to talk to the therapist
2. Your name and telephone number
3. Briefly, when you can be reached
It is not necessary to explain the reason for your call.
I will call within a few hours, certainly the same day (unless you have called in the evening, in which case I may return the call the following morning). When I call you back, ideally, the following should happen:
• I identify myself.
• You say that you want to make an appointment.
• You mention where you heard about me
• I will propose a day and time no more than a week away
• You agree on a day and time. (Note: you have to be flexible here; be aware that good therapists’ schedules are usually full, especially evening hours. However, if this is an emergency, say so.)
• I give you clear directions to my office.
• You confirm the appointment, say goodbye and hang up.
That’s it. The first contact is for the sole purpose of arranging an appointment as soon as reasonably possible. Everything else is superfluous at this point and should be left until the first session (the exception being that you should make clear any emergencies, such as suicidal feelings or acute personal crises).