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Education & Outreach


Do I Need A Therapist, and What Can I Expect Once I Find One?

We've been talking a lot about therapy lately: why working with an adoption-competent therapist matters, and what you can do if your therapist isn't adoption-competent. But how do you know when talking to a therapist might be helpful for you, and what to expect once you get there? 

Therapy is a good idea when:

  • When you’ve experienced a major life event like a loss or a trauma, recently, or ever.
  • When you keep replaying a past loss or traumatic event in your head.
  • When you sound like your own worst enemy in your self-talk.
  • When you are unusually short-tempered, tearful, or avoidant of others.
  • When you are questioning a major life decision or trying to make one.
  • When you or your life feels out-of-control, unsafe, or just too overwhelming.
  • When you are trying to quiet your thoughts & memories with alcohol or substances.
  • When you keep making the same unhealthy decisions and don’t understand why.
  • When you are experiencing guilt & shame and don’t know how to move past it.
  • When you have toxic relationships, and you want help fixing them.

You can expect some (or all) of this to happen (and it's completely normal):

  • Expect to talk more than your therapist.
  • Expect to hear yourself talking about a topic you had not planned to bring up.
  • Expect to feel nervous before your appointment and think about canceling.
  • Expect to hear yourself laughing nervously, or cry, or both.
  • Expect to keep checking the time and feel unsure where to look when talking.
  • Expect you may forget to do what your therapist asked you to do last week.
  • Expect your therapist to take notes.
  • Expect to feel drained after a session but then much lighter after multiple sessions.
  • Expect to dive right into what brought you there with little or no small talk first.


Still not sure how therapy might help? We've got a quick round-up of links for more information:

Thank you for recognizing the importance of post-placement support: