Can I speak to a counsellor before my appointment?
This depends on the therapist and you can look specifically for a therapist who will do a phone consultation before you meet. But often, since therapists are in sessions with clients during most of the day, they simply can't make time to talk to every potential client. In this case, consultation appointment is the time to ask any questions you might have, find out about how your therapist will work with you, and discover if you feel a connection.
Remember that while many trial sessions proceed to a full course of treatment, you are under no obligation to continue.