I was recently asked the following on a previous post about searching for a therapist.
“Have you found many though with birth mother experience? By my searching I’d guess there are about 5 in the entire world! Am I just not looking in the right places?
I understand the basis of this question on a core level. When I first came to the conclusion that I needed some professional help to process the grief and loss associated with relinquishment, I actually contacted the agency through which I placed. I’m not quite sure why I did this as they didn’t provide me with any counseling prior to the birth and relinquishment of my firstborn but I thought it was a good place to start. After initially refusing to help me, they gave me the name of one counselor, over an hour and a half away that was actually attached to another agency. The mind boggles.
I then took matters into my own hands. I contacted my insurance. I called everyone that was covered. I’ll round that number to 20 potential therapists. In the two cities I was searching, two of those twenty therapists had experience. I saw them both and chose then one that I preferred.
To answer the question: no, not many have birth parent experience. In fact, of the two, neither had experience with birth mothers in open adoption. I’ve had to educate my therapist about the ins and outs of open adoptions legalities and so on over our tenure together. She’s come a long way. Her experience with adoption in general has given her a lot of insight.
Don’t take everything I’ve said as inherently negative. When I first began my research, I only looked online. By doing so, I found absolutely no one with birth parent experience in a 50 mile radius of my home. For awhile, I let that stop me. Why? First of all, I hate the phone. Secondly, I prefer researching things on the Internet and, after all, isn’t everything on the Internet infallible? Not quite. Trust me, make the phone calls. Even if you hate the phone. Push yourself past that boundary. Besides, therapy is about pushing yourself past those boundaries anyway! Start now.