The quality of the relationship between client and provider is often the most important factor in whether or not a care plan will succeed over the long term. For this reason, Grow Therapy recommends that providers hold a consultation call with prospective clients to evaluate fit before committing to full sessions.
Consultations vs. Sessions
A consultation is a 15-minute, non-billable conversation, while a session is a full-length, billable appointment. The benefits of offering free consultations include the following:
Consultations lower the barrier to a client starting therapy. Many people are apprehensive about starting therapy, and a consult allows them to gauge whether therapy is the right next step. Consultations are an excellent option if you want to boost your intake numbers. You can always reduce the number of consults you offer as your practice grows.
Consultations reduce the pressure to move forward with someone who isn't the right fit and help you avoid any ethical dilemmas about charging a client for a session in which you choose not to proceed based on fit. Additionally, a consult is less time and resource-intensive than a full-fledged intake appointment.
Consultations result in higher client retention due to the proactive and low-stakes nature of the fit-check, leading to better client/provider pairings.
Ultimately, a consultation should reinforce the idea that receiving and providing care is a two-way street. It should answer whether you are the right fit for the client and whether the client is the right fit for you and your practice.
To enable consults in your provider portal:
Select your account name in the bottom left corner, and click Edit Profile.
Next, select the Scheduling option from the Appointments menu.
Scroll down to the Consultations section and select the consultations toggle so that it moves to the On position.
Determine the maximum number of consultations you'd like to offer weekly using the Limit Consultation Calls To... dropdown menu.
Scroll down and select the Save option.
Prospective clients can now select a consultation option when booking time through your marketplace profile or new client scheduling link.
Manage your consultations
Consultations appear on your Appointments dashboard in the list and calendar view. Consults are visually distinct in your calendar view by appearing with an Indigo color instead of the standard Avocado Green used for full appointments.
To manage a consultation, locate it in the list view and select it to access the session information.
In the upper-right, use the Actions dropdown menu to either Reschedule or Cancel the consultation.
Consultation | FAQ
Can clients book more than one consultation? - Yes, a client can book more than one consultation at a time. However, they cannot book multiple consultations with the same provider. Each consultation is meant to evaluate fit before committing to full sessions, so it is typical for clients to reach out to multiple providers.
How do clients experience consultations? - The consultation process is very similar to the appointment experience. Once a client books a consultation, they will receive a personalized confirmation email and a calendar event. If any changes are made to the consultation, the client will receive a notification altering them to the change(s).
How do I connect with the client for a consultation? - Call the client at the consultation using the phone number listed in the appointment details. The client's preferred phone number will be listed as the "Location" of the appointment, where you would typically see your telehealth meeting URL for virtual appointments or physical practice location for in-person appointments.
What should happen during the consultation call? - The call aims to establish a preliminary match between the provider and the client. Consider following the loose framework below to ensure the time is productive.
Intro: Introduce yourself to the client and clarify that the call aims to see if you are a good fit for them.
Share: Share your therapy approach and your past experiences as they pertain to what the client is looking for in their future care plan.
Ask: Ask your client to share their needs and concerns. Also, ask about their experiences in therapy and what they are looking for in a therapist.
Decide: If it's a good fit, offer to send an intake booking link to start your journey together. If the client agrees, return to their appointment details and select the Send Intake Link option to formally begin their care with you.