32 [Healing Series] How to Choose a Therapist

Haley talks about how to find an adoption-competent therapist. She gives you five questions to ask and multiple tips for finding that perfect fit.

Show Notes

Topics Discussed

  • Types of mental health professionals
    • Psychiatrist is a medical doctor with training in psychology, they can diagnose and prescribe medication
    • A psychologist is someone who usually has a doctoral level degree, in some provinces they may only be required to have a masters level degree.
    • A therapist would most often have a masters level degree likely either in social work, marriage and family therapy, or similar.
    • The terms psychiatrist, psychologist and therapist are the ones that are most often protected, and can only be used by people who are a part of their respective professional associations.
    • Sometimes counsellor is a protected term as well, but often not. Someone can train to be a coach or life coach on a weekend seminar. So MAKE certain that the person you’re trying out is actually trained and has experience
  • Where to look?
    • You can ask around to friends and family, they may have someone that has really helped them. I think referrals are helpful, and all of these providers will keep your info in strict confidence, that’s standard of course.
    • www.psychologytoday.com has this great service called Find a Therapist where you can go in, put in your city or postal code, zip code… and narrow down based on insurance coverage, issues that they specialize in; And even if you are in a really tiny town - there are therapists that do video work/ You can actually meet with them via Skype or a secure video alternative for your sessions. Don’t let that hold you back.
  • Five Questions to ask
    1. Your training and experience / license information, what styles of treatment do you specialize in?
    2. Have you worked with adult adoptees before or any other member of the triad? Have you heard of the primal wound or the phrase “out of the fog”?
    3. Are there any issues that you see as common to adoptees, and how would you work with someone on that?
    4. Do you believe that adoption can be considered a traumatic event for the mother and child? Do you have training in helping someone with PTSD or other traumas?
    5. Do you believe a family created by adoption is the same as one where all members are biologically related. Explain why or why not. This last question is from Lesli Johnson, a therapist I’ve had on the healing series
  • NO matter what, you still need someone who’s a good fit for your personality. Some of us need someone to push us a bit out of a stuck spot, hold up a mirror even when it’s an ugly thing to look at… some of us need a gentle hand holder… and many therapists can do a combination of all of those things. But you need someone who won’t rub you the wrong way. When you’re with them, do you feel listened to and heard.
  • http://www.adopteeson.com/healing for other healing series episodes.

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