Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Finding a therapist

I am excited to be finishing another term of grad school this week. This puts me exactly halfway done with my classes! Time has flown but it has flown at a furious hurried pace! I do have my most difficult classes completed now so even though I will have homework it will not be so overwhelmingly difficult!! YEAH!

Finding a therapist! I am not sure how many we have been through. I have tried to make a list a few times only to think later "Oh what about him? What about her?" If your child has Reactive Attachment Disorder they need specialized care. At the right are some links to Attachment Therapists who have been listed on a couple of web sites. But what qualities do you want? Well I can only tell you what has been important to me:

1. Mom comes in with the child and they work on building trust of child to mom not child to therapist.

2. Therapist has had some training with Attachment therapists, not just read a few books or websites.

3. Therapist lets the child know how much they value your input and opinion and that you are a GREAT mom. Let's face it. You are.

4.Therapist understands the damage trauma does to the brain and thinking.

5. Therapist is familiar with a variety of methods, Nancy Thomas, Foster Kline, Beyond Consequences and incorporates the best of them all.

6.Therapist takes time alone with mom to see how you are doing emotionally and talk about ways they can support you and other places for you to find support. Eventually you need to be able to do this without them.

7.Therapist demonstrates attachment parenting to you when relating to the child.

8. Therapist lets you know that you are heard. They receive input, suggestions, concerns graciously and openly.

9. They are working to help you achieve YOUR goals, not theirs.

10. Therapist gives you some preparation and planning for ending therapy.

I hope these things help. Please feel free to offer your thoughts.


Diana said...

Great post! I've been lurking here a bit, but am now coming out of hiding.

FYI: I found myself sharing similar information so often with other adoptive parents that I finally posted about it on my blog. (link is in my profile.) There's a link to the post I wrote on my sidebar called "How to find a good therapist" I detailed the process we went through to finally find the right therapist for our kids (we went through a few of them, too.) A lot of criteria I listed were similar to yours, but my kids are younger as well as internationally adopted. For a few reasons, play therapy was the right option for them.

Brenda said...


Thank you for commenting. It is great to meet you. I will definitely check out all your information and I hope others do too! We can all help and support each other through this. I am very interested in doing play therapy attachment style! You are blessed to have found someone who does it!

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

A good place to locate a therapist with relevant training, experience, and expertise is the list of registered clinicians at www.attach.org, The Association for The Treatment and Training the Attachment of Children.

Arthur Becker-Weidman
Center For Family Development

Brenda said...

Dr. Becker-Weidman,

Thank you for you input! I do have that attach info to the side but it is a bit buried. I'll move it up so people catch it more readily. Thanks!

truevyne said...

My husband interviewed the only one in our area, and it was clearly not going to be a good fit. The counselors we've found since are hours away, but marvelous. Therapy isn't worth anything if it doesn't meet the needs of the clients involved in deep ways.

Brenda said...


My heart goes out to you. Good Attachment Therapists are few and far between. Interest seems to be increasing though, so I hope it improves.

Alyssa's Mom said...

My suggestion is to not limit yourself to an "attachment" therapist.

Our therapist is not an "official" attachment therapist, but she specializes in adoption. She is an awesome woman that fits your requirements to a T!

What I am trying to say is that if we had been strictly looking for an "attachment" therapist, we would never have found her!

Brenda said...

Alyssa's mom,

Great point! I think talking with anyone who says they know about attachment, adoption, trauma, grief and loss to find out if they are a good fit is worthwhile.