Finding the Right Therapist for Your Postpartum Depression
Talk therapy can be an integral part of treating postpartum depression, but it's important to find the right therapist. It can be difficult to work through issues when you don't feel comfortable talking with your therapist. Worse, you may come away feeling hopeless or want to give up on therapy, all together. Use the following tips to help you find the right talk therapist.
Find one who listens and shares.
Talk therapy is not so the counselor can spend the entire session talking about themselves. Alternatively, it's difficult to feel comfortable around someone who never shares anything about their lives. Having a therapist who can find the right balance is key. When I started therapy, my counselor asked a lot of questions about my life. He then shared a few things about himself, just to give me an idea of his background. He would use illustrations from his life when appropriate, but he didn't overload me with personal stories. There was give and take, a back and forth dialogue that led to progress.
Find one who validates and challenges.
Postpartum depression is not your fault, and a therapist should never make you feel as if it is. On the other hand, a therapist who challenges you to use appropriate coping mechanisms can be an asset. I remember a conversation with my counselor in which he challenged me to find joy in ordinary, mundane tasks. I still remember that conversation. It was one that challenged me to change my perspective, but he layered that with a lot of validation. I never felt guilty for having symptoms of postpartum depression. But I was always encouraged to cope with them in productive ways.
Determine what you value.
There may be completely irrelevant factors that matter to you. Do you feel more comfortable talking to a female? A male? Do you want someone who has a religious background? A non-religious background? Do you want someone who specializes in certain areas or has a specific accreditation? We each have our own preferences, and some may have nothing to do with postpartum depression. Personally, I would not be able to talk with a counselor who had a loud or grating voice. I would spend the whole time focused on that instead of focusing on the appointment. Whatever is important to you, find a therapist that fits your personality, as well as one that promotes your mental health.
Keep your options open.
Don't feel like you have to stay with a therapist if they aren't helping you. Your therapist is providing a service, and you have the right to choose someone else to provide that service. While having consistency is great, consistency with the wrong counselor can be damaging. The relationship between a therapist and client is a two-way street, and that should be respected.
Finding the right therapist can be a task of trial and error, but one that is worth it. Talk therapy made a big difference in my journey with postpartum depression, and I hope it helps you, too.
Epperson, K. (2021, October 14). Finding the Right Therapist for Your Postpartum Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, October 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2021/10/finding-the-right-therapist-for-your-postpartum-depression