December 18th, 2008
Posted By:
Categories: Therapy

A question was posed over on the forums recently. A member asked, “Do I need counseling?” She asked as she was dealing with some new emotions that had come to the surface since the relinquishment of her child. My answer, after reading her post, was simple.

If you find yourself asking the question as to whether or not you need counseling, the default answer should always be, “Yes.”

First and foremost, we should talk about how attending therapy or counseling do not automatically write you off as being unstable or any other negative connotation associated with seeking help. In fact, it should be a sign that you are able to recognize your own emotional needs and are responsive to the fact that a third party’s input could be beneficial to your own healing.

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If you are considering therapy or counseling, you are likely trying to process something. Whether it is in direct relation to the grief caused by relinquishment or the fallout that relinquishment can cause in other relationships, you should know that no reason is really too small. If you’re feeling unsure of yourself or how you are processing things, seeking out the help of a qualified professional could be in your best interest. And, to be honest, in the best interest of your child, your relationships, your professional life and basically in all aspects of your life.

I am of the belief that most anyone could benefit from talking to someone about their emotional issues. I believe this in an even stronger fashion when it comes to birth parents. Not because we are an unstable group of people but because we have been through a trauma that the larger population doesn’t quite understand. Therefore we are often left feeling alone. Talking to someone about what we are feeling can be extremely beneficial!

And so, if you have asked yourself as of late whether or not you should seek out some emotional help, I encourage you to take that step today!

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3 Responses to “Do You Need Counseling?”

  1. adoptauthor says:

    Jenna,

    Very good general advise. If you question a need for help, you should seek help.

    However, you seem to ignore your own intuitive knowledge that:
    “we have been through a trauma that the larger population doesn’t quite understand.”

    Therapists, counselors and psychologists and psychiatrists are part of that general population and often do NOT “get it” when it comes the experience of an adoption loss – either on the part of the mother or the “child.”

    I am flummoxed that you ignored the first line of help any mother who experienced the loss of a child to adoption should seek: self-help, peer groups such as Origins-USA or CUB.

    The very first step to healing is knowing that you are not alone and not”unstable or any other negative connotation.” It is through contact with other mothers – in the same boat – that you lean that your grief or anger or whatever you are experiencing are a normal reactions to an abnormal situation.

    As you have said “attending therapy or counseling do [sic] not” always help. You need to shop around very carefully and see your first appointment as an interview. Do not be afraid to ask his or her connection (if any) to and feelings about adoption. They should be inform you honesty BEFORE knowing your connection to it, just that it is central to your issues. If they will not answer, find another service provider. You (or your insurance) will be paying them. They work for you! Don’t be shy.

    For many of us, it was allowing ourselves to be convinced that “professionals” knew better than us that us in this siutaiton to begin with! Or just simple lack of self confidence to raise our own child – lack of empowerment.

    Use the opportunity of you inner self seeking help to take control now. Let it be your first step to taking back control and empowerment.

    Join with others at: Origins-USA.org, the voice for mothers.

    Mirah Riben

  2. I haven’t ignored anything. Read through the number of posts I have on trauma and loss in adoption before jumping to conclusions about what I do and do not write about. I was addressing a very specific piece of advice on this piece.

    Don’t treat me as you have treated others. I am NOT the bad guy here.

  3. eperkins says:

    Excellant entry, Jenna. I, too, have been a victim of Ms. Riben’s attacks and am pleased to see that you are not falling for it. Please keep posting!
    Elise in Dallas

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