Is My Therapist Right for Me?
If you’re already working with a therapist or need to find one, here are a few key characteristics to look for before you begin (or continue) your relationship with a therapist to help you through this particular time. In addition to being properly licensed, you want to work with someone who is openminded, willing to learn, and compassionate. Trust your intuition about the “feel” of a potential therapist and how well she listens and understands what you’re experiencing. Here are a few important questions you’ll want answered before making your decision:
What specific training and experience have you received in working with women with postpartum depression? Post Partum Depression (PPD) is a specialized field. She either needs to have excellent training and experience (ideally) or at least know that she doesn’t know about it and be open to learning.
What books and Web sites can you recommend for me? She should be able to name several relevant books and other resources right off the top of her head.
Do you have a favorite type of therapy? The most effective types of therapy for PPD are cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy (short-term types). When in crisis, you don’t want to start out with long-term psychoanalysis.
What are your general feelings about the cause of postpartum depression? You want to be sure this potential therapist knows this is a real illness and doesn’t believe you brought it on yourself.
Do you belong to any organizations dedicated specifically to education about postpartum depression? Someone who’s committed to offering therapy in this field should belong to Postpartum Support International, Marce Society, or NASPOG. These organizations are focused on maternal mental health.
Written by Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.
Adapted from Beyond The Blues http://www.BeyondTheBlues.com and
Postpartum Depression For Dummies