I was lucky to be matched with an excellent therapist after Adrian died. Not only were her services free, but she actually specialized in child loss and grief (I have come to find out this is unfortunately rare). I never felt like I had to explain anything to her; I never felt embarrassed or ashamed for my grief. And I felt like she often understood what I needed before I knew it.
While I acknowledge my first therapist was a rare diamond, I do believe many general therapists can be beneficial after the loss of child, if the relationship feels right for you. And so when I moved to a new city, I spent some time looking for another therapist, and I found someone amazing. She had not worked with child loss or grief before me, and we had to work together to develop the relationship I needed, but I’m so glad we did.
Below are some questions you may want to ask when interviewing therapists. If you don’t feel up to interviewing therapists yourself, this is a great project to hand off to a friend or loved one who has offered to help.
Questions to ask when interviewing a therapist:
- What are your specialties?
- Do you have experience with grief counseling?
- Do you have experience with counseling for child loss?
- Do you have experience with counseling for postpartum mood disorders?
- How do you differentiate between postpartum mood disorders and grief?
- What is your personal philosophy on loss and grief?
- What is your therapy process?
- Do you offer EMDR?
- Do you offer any other techniques?
- Do you incorporate spiritual beliefs into your therapy?
- If I follow a different religious tradition, can you adapt your therapy to my beliefs?
- What is your typical availability? How flexible is your schedule?
- Are you available for after hours emergencies?
- Do you have back-up available if you are out of town and I am having an emergency?
- How often do you take vacations? Do you have vacation planned during my child’s birth and/or death date?
- What are your thoughts on medication?
- Are you able to prescribe medication?
- If I don’t want medication, will you work with me to find alternate solutions?
- If not able to prescribe medication, are you associated with or can you recommend a provider who can prescribe medication?
- What else should I know about you and your practice?
- Do you have any questions for me?
What questions would you add to this list? Comment below.