How To Email A Therapist For The First Time
Many of us need help but many of us are typically scared or apprehensive to ask for it when we need it the most.
Speaking to a therapist can sometimes be embarrassing or frightening, but they are there to help you.
One way to get in touch with a therapist for the first time is to email them.
It takes away the scary element of speaking to someone over the phone, and it is, in many ways, a much more private way to ask for help.
Today’s guide will provide some steps of how to write and send an email initially, and why you should do so.
Problems Reaching Out
A common problem with public health and mental health is that we’re often apprehensive to seek the initial consultation.
This could be through fear, embarrassment or simply because we don’t know how to describe what the issue is.
Through many years, we have seen that this fear or reluctance can lead to avoidable further problems and some have even lost their lives because they have not asked for help.
It’s completely normal to feel reluctant to speak with a therapist. It’s an invasive part and a very private part of our lives.
We don’t like telling people how we feel generally, and we certainly don’t like admitting to a therapist that we are experiencing a mental health crisis.
Unfortunately, therapy has become a taboo subject and there is a stigma to asking for help – but trust us when we say that it really should not be, and you should always ask for help when you need, it even therapists seek help.
Sometimes too, reluctance can be caused by financial situations.
Health insurance might not cover these types of therapy but again, you should always reach out to a potential therapist and explain the situation – they can help you or provide you with advice that should aid you.
Mental health issues should not be taken lightly, not by you or by anyone else.
Remember, you matter and most mental health professionals will be able to guide you with the mental health treatment that you require or the advice that you’ll need.
Working Up To An Email
Some mental health issues make it much more difficult to seek out treatment, and it can take some working up to it before you even type the first word.
Here’s what you should do before you send the email:
Before you do anything, you should research some therapists that offer treatment that you think you need.
If you’re unsure, consider emailing your doctor first.
After you know who you’re going to contact, ensure you’ve written down or made a note of their email address, and you now will be ready to start working your way up to writing your initial email.
Plan A Date That Suits You
One great way to plan contacting a therapist is to choose a date and time that suits you.
Often, our hectic lives mean that we do not have the psychological strength to even reach out for help after a hard day – so try to plan a day when you don’t have a lot to do.
If you’ve noticed you have more strength and mental support at certain times of the day or after certain events, try to plan your email typing on or after these times.
This should make things much easier and having a plan will almost “force” you to do what you need to do.
Take A Breath, Calm Down
Calm down and remember that this is the best thing you can do. There’s no shame in asking for help, and it could save your life.
Before you write your email, make yourself a calming drink like a hot cup of tea or coffee and set up the room to make it more psychologically calming.
Ask A Friend Or Family Member For Support
Sometimes, we simply can’t write our problems down, and we need someone there to help us through it.
That’s totally fine! If you can, reach out to a close friend or family member that can help you put your feelings into words and help you type out your email.
It’s a good idea to draft what you want to say on paper before you digitally write them down.
If you need your friend to write it for you, all you have to do is ask.
Having someone there can make the situation much more manageable, if that’s an option for you.
How To Write The Email
Now it’s time to write the email. Here’s a great format for you to do this.
Ensure you know exactly who you’re writing to and refer to them with their correct title of Doctor, Mr, Mrs etc.
Start off by writing something like “Dear Doctor X” and then introduce yourself to them. Always remember that they’re here to help you.
Explain Briefly Why You’re Writing
This is where you’ll be asking for their services. Briefly explain why you’re contacting them.
Something like “I have been experiencing some difficulties recently, and I was hoping to use your services”.
Remember, sometimes a practice will have a contact address for the office and the doctor, so if you wish to speak to the therapist directly, check the contact details.
Request A Consultation
After you’ve briefly explained your situation, you can now ask for a face-to-face or telephone or even video consultation.
This will be where you can go into much more detail with them.
Simply ask “could you please advise me of your availability at your earliest convenience”.
They will try to fit you in as soon as they can.
As with any email, thank them and sign off – then you’re done! You should treat yourself by getting through such a difficult task.
Say something like “I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards, X”.
Getting help is always important, and you should always seek it out if you need it.
Remember, you are not alone and help is out there.
You just need the courage to ask for it and sometimes that needs a little working up to or someone to help you through it.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: February 28, 2024