Making the call is one of the hardest things to do. People call me when their level of stress, panic, depression, general upset, relationship conflict - whatever the driver - reaches an intolerable point.
We have all had bad times. In order to reach out to others, whether it be friends, family or a professional like me - we all have to feel that our back is up against the wall before reaching out. If we've been through rough times before, sought out help and had good results, it's a bit easier. If it's been a bad experience, though, it's much harder.
I've had people come and see me after many years of pain, because they had a really negative experience with a mental health professional in the past.
Reaching out to talk with a total stranger about deep personal issues - most if not all of us have put it off for long periods of time.
These are reasons for me to speak with you personally before making an appointment. It's often very reassuring to the people who call me to talk with me first, rather than with an administrative assistant. A lot of people are genuinely surprised that it's me calling them back after they've left a message. I think it's the respectful and sensible thing to do.
Another reason I call people personally is that it's good to get a sense of whether it's going to be a good fit, for both of us. We both want a successful outcome. It's especially important since it's your life! It's always good to check out a product or service, we all want the right thing or person for any need or want. But this is deeper, more significant, more meaningful than most of the other things you will ever purchase.