How to Refer

Elements of an Effective Referral 

1. Leave enough time to discuss the referral and deal with any hesitancies the patient may have.

2. Educate your patient as much as possible regarding:

a)   what to expect/what is psychotherapy

b)  about the therapist you are referring to

c)  how to be a good consumer of psychotherapy

3. Make a good match; i.e. consider the personality characteristics of the new therapist, the therapist's area of expertise, the client's financial resources, and any preferences the client may have.

4. Giving your full endorsement of the referral will greatly improve the probability that the client will follow through. Be aware of any concerns YOU have about making the referral.

5. Address any concerns that the patient may have regarding the referral.

6. Follow-up is important. Sometimes a patient needs a little extra support or encouragement. You can follow-up with a phone call or at the next scheduled appointment. Be sure to ask about what is holding them back.


Follow-up Ideas for the Reluctant Patient


1. Ask the patient to make a commitment to call the therapist. Be sure they verbalize a specific time they will call.

2. Ask them to give you a call to leave a message regarding their first appointment time.

3. Call while the patient is with you to set up the first appointment.

4. Ask the patient to just try therapy. Will they commit to an introductory sessions.

5. Write the referral on your script pad.


Wilmes-Reitz Psychological

23945 Calabasas Rd., Suite 202

 Calabasas, California  91302

(818) 591-8270


Back to WRPSYCH Home Page