8 min read


Alyssa Petersel

How To Book Therapy Consultations Using Calendly

Online scheduling apps are so helpful: simply send the client a link, and they can see your calendar and pick a meeting time that works best for them in real time.
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Note: MyWellbeing does not have a formal relationship with Calendly. We do not earn anything for recommending Calendly.

We all know what a challenge scheduling therapy consultations can be. You send a client available times, and then those times change before they get back to you. There’s enough to do in a day without sending multiple messages to sort out a meeting time.

That’s why online scheduling apps are so helpful: simply send the client a link, and they can see your calendar and pick a meeting time that works best for them in real time.

We typically recommend Calendly because it is very low cost and has great design and user experience. It significantly helps clients easily book phone consultations with you, which helps them take one more step toward an in-person appointment with you!

We recommend a few different uses of Calendly or other scheduling apps:

  • Arrange phone consultations all working days during any time you are available. Sync the app with your Google Calendar so only available windows will show in your scheduling app.
  • Set aside a particular day and time window per week for phone consultations. Say, Tuesdays 10am-1pm for example. This way, you can coordinate your availability for that time and you will feel less overwhelmed by keeping your google calendar up to date.
  • Use Calendly for phone consultations only so you will have one “event type.” That way, Calendly will be free.
  • If you want to use Calendly for both phone consultations and in-person appointments, upgrade to “unlimited event types” ($8/month).

Setting Up Calendly

1. Visit calendly.com

2. Create an account

• If you plan to only use Calendly for phone consultations, this one “event type” is completely free. If you would like to also book your in-person appointments through Calendly, and/or list different availability for different locations, you want to upgrade to “unlimited event types,” which at this time is $8/month.

3. After you create your account, type your custom link into your URL bar.

You will see a page that looks like this:

Calendly scheduling page for one-on-one meeting.

4. Click on the arrow pointing downward to the right of your name and select “Go to your dashboard.”

You will see a page that looks like this:

Calendly dashboard page.

5. In your “Dashboard,” You will see a list of your “Event Types” and a list of any upcoming calls or appointments with name and information on the call.

6. Under “My Calendly,” underlined in blue, you will see your different “Event Types.” If you have one, it will show here, same with more than one (as you can see above).

7. Click the small downward arrow to the right of the event type you would like to edit and select “Edit”.

You will come to a page that looks like this:

Calendly edit event type window.

8. Click “What event is this?” to come to a page that looks like this:

Calendly “what event is this” form.

Here, you have a chance to customize your phone consultation details.

  • In “Event Name”, please name your event. we recommend “Free Phone Consultation”
    In “Location,” please specify whether you will call the prospective client or whether you prefer the client to call you.
  • If you plan to call the client, write “[insert your first name] will call you!”
  • If you prefer the client to call you, please write “Please call [insert your first name] at [insert your phone number]”
  • In “Description/Instructions,” include any instructions you like. We recommend “I look forward to this brief conversation to share more about my practice and learn more about you and your needs to explore together whether we are a strong fit.”
  • In “Event Link,” you can change the URL that one would type into their website bar in their web browser. You can make this anything you like, we recommend freeconsultcall.
  • In “Event Color,” please choose any color circle that most resonates with you, or the branding of your website. For example, My Wellbeing’s brand is most closely aligned with either blue circle.

9. Click the blue “Save and Close” button on the top right to save your changes and move on to the next section.

10. Click “When can people book this event?” to come to a page that looks like this:

Calendly “when can people book this event” form.
  • In “Event Duration,” please select how long you want the call to be. I recommend 15 minutes. 30 minutes also works well.
  • The date range and time zone you can likely keep as they are. This means that someone can book a phone consult with you 60 days out, or 2 months away, which you can edit here if you like. The time zone is likely NYC or Eastern Standard Time (EST). If not, you can change it here.
    In the large calendar, please schedule your ongoing availability for phone consults.
  • If you would like to set aside particular windows for phone consultations, this is where you would schedule them. Using the same example as above, let’s say you only want to conduct phone consultations on Tuesdays 10am-1pm. You would:
  • Click into the time range on Monday
  • Select “I’m unavailable”
  • Click “Apply to all Mondays”
  • Your availability will automatically save, and a client will never book a phone consultation with you on Mondays.
  • To add availability, click into an open box and this same window will appear.
  • Repeat this step for all days you do not want to accept phone consultations
  • On Tuesday (or any day you are available for phone consultations), click into the Calendar and change the time range from 10am – 1pm (or the time range you are available for phone consultations).
  • Click “Apply to all Tuesdays”
  • As you can see, if you have particular, predictable unavailability (holidays, birthdays, weddings), you can also custom “delete” your availability on this calendar for those particular dates and times. You do not need to “apply to Tuesdays,” for example.
Calendly availability editor.

○ If you have more rolling availability, you would:

■ Go into this calendar and set the time range you are open to taking a phone consultation.

■ For example: My phone consultation time range is 9am-4pm on Wednesdays and 9am-8pm on Thursdays. I know that I am always unavailable Wednesday evenings for phone consultations. I want Calendly to sync with my Google Calendar for availability options on Thursdays.

■ This means that Calendly is going to sync with my Google Calendar for availability in those ranges. I will never receive a phone consultation booking before 9am or after 8pm on Thursdays. Within that time range, Calendly will cross-check with my Google Calendar, and will only surface times I do not have anything else scheduled in my Google Calendar. If I do have something else scheduled in my Google Calendar, that time will not show as available in my Calendly.

■ For example, even though my available time range is 9am – 8pm, if I have client meetings scheduled in my Google Calendar from 9am-5pm, Calendly will only show 5pm-8pm as available for a phone consultation.

Calendly availability set-up calendar.
  • At the top of the calendar, you will see a turquoise line underlining “Hours.” To the right of “Hours,” please click “Advanced”to come to page that looks like this:
Calendly advanced calendar settings: availability increments, max events per day, minimum scheduling notice.
  • Here, you can set things like the maximum number of events you want scheduled per day, the minimum hours of notice you want before a call is scheduled (do you want 24 hours notice, for example, or do you want people to be able to book a phone consult same-day?)
  • When you are ready, hit the same blue “save and close” button on the bottom right of this block.

11. Click “Invitee Questions” to come to a page that looks like this:

Invitee question set-up in Calendly.
  • These are the things you want to know from a prospective client before the call
  • I prefer to call my clients. Therefore, in “Location” earlier on, I put “Alyssa will call you!” and here, I ask for the client’s phone number so I know what number to call. I also include “What would you like to discuss during this call?” as a question.
  • You can include any questions you like here. However, we encourage you to keep clinical questions at a minimum, as Calendly is not HIPAA-compliant.
  • Click the same blue “save and close” button on the top or bottom right when you are ready.

12. Click “Notifications and Cancellation Policy” to arrive at a page that looks like this:

  • Calendly will automatically integrate with your calendar, which means you will have an event show up in your calendar when a prospective client books a call
  • We encourage you to turn “ON” Email reminders, which will send the prospective client an email about your phone consultation
  • Click “ON” to the right of “Email Reminders.” It should be green rather than grey.
  • Click “Personalize” in blue to customize your email
  • You can edit the subject line, email body, and the timing of the reminders
  • I encourage at minimum a reminder 24 hours before the phone call. You can set a reminder for an hour before, as well, if you like.
  • To add another reminder, click “+Add Another Reminder” in blue.
  • Note: Setting these email reminders does not mean you need to email remind clients once you start working together. This is just to make the initial contact as seamless as possible. Once you establish human connection, the client is significantly more likely to follow through, and you can carry on any practices that resonate most with you clinically.
  • Click “save and close” blue button in the top or bottom right

13. Last step! Copy the link on the top right of the page:

How to copy link in Calendly.
  • You can edit this to be anything you want in Account settings -> My Link, which you can find if you click the small arrow pointing downward to the right of you link (circled in red above).
  • If you are a MyWellbeing member, please include your Calendly link in the Practitioner Portal. If you need assistance, please email our Support Team.

With a bit of initial set-up, Calendly (or another scheduling app) can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend scheduling initial consults and/or appointments.

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About the author

Alyssa Petersel, Co-Founder and CEO of My Wellbeing and author of Somehow I Am Different, graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with dual BA degrees in psychology and international studies, graduated summa cum laude from New York University in May 2017 with her Master's in Social Work, and graduated from The Writer's Institute non-fiction program at CUNY Graduate Center in May 2017. A native New Yorker, Alyssa now lives in Brooklyn and enjoys running, coffee, community, and social justice.